Last night, I got something completely unexpected. Just as I was about to close down my computer and go to bed, I received a message on facebook from a friend from highschool. It's one of those messages that completely catches you off guard, leaves you stumped, makes you reevaluate everything you've ever done.
And leaves you with a permi-smile.
What I received last night was a compliment to the Nth degree. I was informed that she was thinking of my family and me, followed by an incredible compliment that I would have never expected. I feel as though I do what I can for my family and nothing I do is special. I never think twice about the impact of my actions or words when those are a part of my every day routine. (I do, however, fret infinitely if I do something out of character that could have possibly hurt someone.) And believe me, when I do something that upsets someone else, it's instantly pointed out to me.
You see, everything we do in life is noticed by someone. We may not even realize it. Whether what we are doing is something positive (volunteering your time, being nice to total strangers) or something negative (ignoring people as we sit with our noses in our phones, yelling at someone in customer service), there is at least one person who is taking note.
The problem is, as was pointed out last night, we don't always realize that people are watching. We don't always realize that what we do matters. Our lives are inundated with negatives - others pointing out what we're doing wrong, complaining about how someone hurt their feelings or don't know what they're doing, etc. She pointed out to me that, "nowadays, people are quick to point out others flaws and forget to appreciate." The words that preceded this thought are words that will stick with me. Probably forever.
What I was taught last night by the words my friend feared would "sound weird" was that it feels awesome to be complimented.
The mere fact that her fear was about sounding weird for issuing words of affirmation of something I do, or offering a positive view of how my actions are received is disheartening. Shouldn't this be the norm? The standard by which we should all strive to live? So, while she was telling me positive things, making me tear up a little and smile a lot, she was also teaching me lesson.
It is important how you treat people and how you live your life. It is REALLY important what you choose to point out to others. What you say CAN make or break someone.
So my challenge to you is to go out and let someone know how they inspire you. Tell someone something positive. Ignore the negative! Catch a glimpse of that silver lining and shout it to the world.
Go out and SAY The GOOD!