The Kindness of Strangers

Last week someone said something silly to me that kind of has had me thinking for the past few days about the impact other people’s words can have on you.

I was at the salon, just going through my day, when a client walked in to buy a product. We were having a standard small talk conversation when she stopped and looked up at me and said “You look  so lovely! Like Princess Katherine!” It was startling and funny at the same time and we laughed about it, completed our transaction, and went about our day.

But later I couldn’t help but think of her compliment. It was so sincere and thoughtful-very unlike the standard compliment we often give to others.

It always amazes me how much of our day is spent making meaningless conversations with people. We as humans have this amazing ability to communicate the depths of our soul with others, and yet because of certain social conventions or our own timidness we often limit ourselves and just follow the societal norms of talking about meaningless things like the weather.

So instead of forgetting her words and moving on, I decided to internalize her heartfelt compliment and make a meaningful effort to let my words have a purpose. I spent the last week endeavoring to notice the specifics of those I encountered during my day, and pay them a wholehearted commendation. The effects were  startling-you’d be amazed how people light up when you do something as simple as hold the door for them and wish them a good day or tell them they have lovely hair. Not only did it bring them unexpected joy, but it made my heart light and content the entire week!

So that’s my challenge to you. Be mindful of those around you. Remember that they are people just like you, going through the same challenges of trying to lead a good and happy life you are. Think of how nice it would be if a stranger wished you a pleasant day or gave you an honest compliment-and truly meant it. Remember the impact you have on others and how powerful your words can be. Connecting with others requires effort, can be scary, and forces you to put yourself out there (much like writing a blog), but in the end the interactions we have with others mean the most to us and have the power to change lives-you get to decide if it’s for the better or worse.

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I snapped these after her sweet words so as to not forget the way they made me feel and to encourage me to spread that love to others.

Go out and spread love.

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