Make the other person feel important — and do it sincerely. ~ Dale Carnegie, American writer and developer of courses in self-improvement, public speaking, etc.
Several days ago, my path crossed with that of a stranger, and every time I recall it, I smile.
I was standing in the library, waiting to speak with one of the employees. In my hands was a sack of DVD’s that Domer had helped me gather from home; we meant to donate them to the library if they’d have them.
Standing in line ahead of me was a man — elderly, rather plain-faced, clean but not fancily dressed, and using a cane to walk. Beside him was a younger woman, perhaps his caregiver, daughter, or some other relative, who was busily checking out several movies.
As he turned to leave, the man glanced at me … and stared.
I averted my eyes. The sack in my hand was heavy, I had an immense list of things to do that day, and I didn’t particularly feel like becoming involved in a lengthy conversation with a stranger.
Then the man spoke. ‘Has anybody told you today how pretty you are?’ he asked.
My first instinct was to protest, but I abandoned that for fear he’d argue with me and create a scene.
‘What a nice thing to say!’ I replied instead, a smile spreading across my face. ‘Thank you.’
I don’t imagine this man had ever taken the Dale Carnegie Course, but he had Principle 6 (quoted above) down pat. Mr. Carnegie said ALL people have a craving to be appreciated.
It’s what differentiates us from animals.
Now I’m not talking about flattery in hopes of getting something in return. I’m talking about finding something nice to say to others, like the Random Acts of Kindness so popular today.
Kindness doesn’t cost us a thing, yet it yields a priceless feeling of euphoria when we say or do something nice that someone else can’t repay. And sincerely making others feel important — even for just a few seconds — can have a profound effect on their lives.
Like what this stranger did, which made my day.
Kindness, like a boomerang, always returns. ~Author Unknown
Kindness is the most beautiful and valuable thing in the world. It costs nothing, yet seems so scarce at times.
I agree, Lucy. I surely don’t think any of us should ever be too busy for a kind word or deed to our fellow travelers!
What a lovely exchange. It not only made you feel good, it also allowed him to establish a connection with someone else, if only for a moment. These little exchanges are so important — and they’re impossible via “devices.” Yes, we can communicate information more easily than ever, but a little eye contact never hurts, either!
Linda, you’re so right! Sadly, too often we’re kind to others when it best serves our own purposes. That’s not the Golden Rule we learned as kids. And it seems to me that all of us, if we’re observant, can find a way to brighten the day — and lighten the load — of someone else!
In this PC world, he’s lucky it was you he wanted to appreciate. Thanks for sharing, Debbie.
Thank you, John. I guess I’ve got a soft spot for old folks and dogs — and seem to attract them both, ha!
You must have a kind aura about you.
🙂 I know it’s there.
Aw, how lovely! There’s a certain liberty that comes with age where older people can say things that young people just couldn’t get away with. And a compliment out of the blue is the best kind!
I think you’re right. The same goes for little kids, but they really have to be taught to notice nice things and comment positively. But an unexpected compliment really does make one’s day!
Kindness is the route of all good things in this world. Your lovely story is a great reminder to make kindness part of our every day!
Imagine how nice our world would be, Mo, if we all took just a few minutes to be kind to one another!!
This is very true. It is lovely to receive kindness and good to extend it.
Hi Val and welcome! I don’t know how you found my little online home, but I’m always glad to meet a friendly face. I can’t decide which is better, to extend a kindness or to receive one unexpectedly!
Both, I think. 🙂 Glad to have found your blog.