Monday, April 8, 2013

Let the Tear-Jerkers Take All

As the head of my household, I go to great lengths to keep the overhead low, the décor distinctive, the refreshments flowing, and the clutter at a minimum. I give away, throw out, recycle, or shred anything I don’t like, need, or have any conceivable use for, and only hoard the sentimental stuff.  

It takes hours to go through my keepsake stash and I don’t have the time to do so more than once a year. I’ve saved Valentines, personalized cards and letters, bibs from the first road races I ran, ticket stubs, formal invitations, playbills, my ID badge from when I volunteered at the state mental hospital for an Abnormal Psychology class, notes sent on frou-frou stationery from individuals who drafted statements like “I’ll always be there for you” mere months before they were nowhere to be found when they were needed the most.  

The best recent addition to the collection comes from a co-worker who filled his Christmas card’s entire left-hand side with a series of beautiful handwritten sentences. When someone has had a uniquely positive impact on you, it doesn’t require much to make this person aware of it. The last time I saw my childhood dentist I basically relayed that I place him in the top tier of the most honorable human beings I’ve ever known. He, who might not hear explicitly heartfelt praise very often, looked ready to cry. If I have regular contact with people whose character, caliber, or contributions are above average in any way, I’ll tell them - and there’s usually that similar element of choked-up surprise on their end. They don't necessarily need the validation to continue on as themselves, but the immeasurable extra incentives that come with it stretch deep and far.

3 comments:

  1. It's wonderful that you can surround yourself with positive inspiring people. Unfortunately, I often find that the moment I praise someone, they end up disappointing me. Almost as if the praise itself is a catalyst for their negative behaviour. So instead, I practice not to expect anything and just let people be who they are. They often surprise me - in a good way.

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  2. Recently I was at my favorite supermarket and I recognized a young lady that has a super+ personality and is very efficient. She was given a new job, that one of making cooking demonstration. I stopped by to say hello and to congratulate her on her new job and told her that I knew she was going to do very well wherever she was placed, because of her efficiency and sunny disposition to help everyone. She was speechless and tears came down her face as she told me that I will never know what those words meant to her. I left her very happy cooking her chicken with parmesan.You are absolutely right...it feels fabulous to put some sunshine into someone's day.

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  3. The kind of comment you made to your dentist really makes a big difference in a person's life. Very considerate and meaningful.

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