Monday, February 16, 2009

The Power of a Compliment ...

Marjorie Holmes is my favorite inspirational writer. Her heartfelt and moving "conversations with God" touch on everyday life on subjects we all experience at one time or another.

I'd like to share one of the selections from her book, I've Got to Talk to Somebody, God ...

The selection is called "The Compliment," and, in the world of blogging, I've personally experienced how a simple compliment can instantly boost my spirits and inspire me.

Here are Mrs. Holmes' reflections on just how powerful a compliment can be ...

"I want to suggest a new Beatitude: "Blessed are the sincere who pay compliments." For I have just had a compliment, and it has changed my day.

I was irritated, tired, discouraged. Nothing seemed much use. Now suddenly all this is changed.

I feel a spurt of enthusiasm, of energy and joy. I am filled with hope. I like the whole world better, and myself, and even you.

Lord, bless the person who did this for me. He probably hasn't the faintest idea how his few words affected me. But wherever he is, whatever he's doing, bless him. Let him too feel this sense of fulfillment, this recharge of fire and faith and joy.

Thank you, God, for this simple miracle so available to all of us. And that we don't have to be saints to employ its power.

Remind me to use it more often to heal and lift and fortify other lives ... a compliment!"

I'd like to thank you, my blogging friends, for taking the time to visit me here at Southern Lagniappe ... but even more, I'd like to thank you for taking the time to leave your kind and gracious compliments. They are like little rays of sunshine, and I sincerely appreciate them.


Susan said...

How true..a compliment can change a person's life!


Diane@A Picture is Worth.... said...

Hi Janie,
Thanks for sharing this. I'm going to have to get one of her books. She has so much insight doesn't she?

Have a great day,

Stacey said...

This is so sweet and such a wonderful reminder. Recently, Carol at Carol's Heirloom Collection did a post about being an encouraging person. Both of these posts have really hit home with me. I'm trying to really make it a regular habit to say the nice things I'm thinking instead of keeping them to myself.

I will have to print your post today and keep it! By the way, it's easy to compliment your blog. :)

Anonymous said...

Oh so true Janie...

Nice post,
Kathy :)

Cyndy said...

I seem to remember that you have quoted Marjorie Holmes before. At that time, I had planned on buying this book. After your post today, I am for sure going to buy it! Thanks so much for sharing such wonderful and encouraging blogs with everyone.
I have so enjoyed this wonderful world of blogging because of sweet people like yourself.


Jon said...

Janie, Thanks for this post! It gave me a flashback to an encounter I had a few years ago at a conference in Jackson that proves how important a compliment can be. A sharply dressed lady came up to me during a coffee break and introduced herself to me. Obviously she knew me, but I didn't recognize her at all nor her name. She said: "When I was a little girl you came to my grandmother's house in Warren County to visit us. I want you to know you said something to me that inspired me and help change my life." I was perplexed and taken aback and asked her what I had said. She told me that she had shown me some of her school artwork and I had told her how beautiful it was and that I had encouraged her to keep on drawing and if she tried hard enough and stayed in school that she might be a famous artist someday. I asked her who her grandmother was and after she told me that name, it all clicked into place, and I remembered this very difficult case I had 40 years when I was a social worker having to do home visits on each case to assess needs. I recalled her elderly grandmother was overwhelmed raising by herself 10 little of whom was this lady...(the offspring of 3 daughters who had flown the coop), and I realized the old lady and those children truly deserved and needed every assistance program we offered just to make ends meet. I recalled that I did everything in my power to help them. This lady told me that I was the only grown man who had ever said anything nice to her when she was a child and made her think her schoolwork was important and who had told her that she could "be somebody someday if I stayed in school and tried my best". She went on to tell me that she did do well in school in Vicksburg and got a scholarship to Jackson State where she graduated and now is teaching in Brandon. I was happy and proud to congratulate her on her success and I thanked her for her kind words to me. So it goes to prove that a little pat on the back or encouragement offered or a compliment given can, unbeknownst to us, have a very positive impact on someone in ways we might never imagine. What might seem like casual comments can be truly inspirational compliments to others...particularly as interpreted by children.

Truth be told, the only thing I got out of that conference was this memorable conversation which reminded me how grateful I was to have been raised with the Golden Rule, just one of our many blessings, always present in our home. It is true that what goes around comes around.

Jon at Mississippi Garden

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Janie, you are so right! It can change your whole day. This book looks like a good one, and I appreciate you sharing this.

I've been thinking about this very thing a lot lately. The power of the tongue is a very powerful thing, and it behooves Christians to use it with extreme caution and alway in love. You are a big success at that, Janie, and are truly one of the gracious people online. You are appreciated more than you know!


Sheila :-)

Anonymous said...

Hi Janie! I always say What Goes Around Comes Around!!! Your comments are sunshine for us as well! Compliments are certainly powerful in a positive way but this post also reminds me of the only time I had a confrontation with a teacher of my daughter; the teacher had used extremely harsh wording to embarrass her and humiliate her in front of her peers. After I found out this wasn't just a one time thing and other students were experiencing the same harshness I called a meeting. My comment to her after she admitted to the principal this poor behaviour was: "As an English teacher you should know the POWER words can have"! She had no comeback and I felt I made my point! So yes, words as a compliment or a negative attack can definitely change a person's life! Great Post - Sincerely, Jeannette

Bo said...

OH MY GOODNESS... I'm sitting here right now with a trio of Marjorie Holmes' books to read..."Who am I God", "How Can I Find You God" and "Hold Me Up A Little Longer God"...I am making a promise to myself right this minute to read these books! ;-) Bo

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Hello Janie
It's so true that even a small compliment can lift a person's spirit in so many ways! I always appreciate them, and try to give them as much as possible.