Compliment the New Year
Many years ago, I received a compliment that changed my life. It wasn’t earth shattering. In fact, the benefactor probably had no idea her words touched me so deeply. But as a 15-year-old girl on the threshold of becoming a young woman, it made a world of difference.
Growing up, I was one of those little girls that today I would call “slender.” But others called me “skinny.” And in most folk’s eyes, even mine, I was exactly that. I realize today that no harm was meant by such comments, but to me it meant I wasn’t pretty.
Fortunately, my schoolteachers thought I was smart and my family and close friends loved me so my ego was not damaged. But as teenager, I wanted to look in the mirror and see a reflection of something that said, “Pretty.”
Attending a small country school definitely has its advantages and on one particular day, when a teacher had only a handful of girls in her class, she decided to give us lessons in “poise and posture.” She took us to the hall and stairwell and instructed us how to walk with poise and grace. “Don’t bounce down those stairs,” she exclaimed, as we jogged up and down the steps. “You glide down the stairs.”
Then one by one, she stood us against the cloakroom wall as we sucked in our tummies and held our shoulders back until we stood with perfect posture. When she walked over to me, she gently pushed my shoulders to the wall and lifted my chin, then stood back and remarked, “You have a darling figure!”
What! Me! A darling figure! No, I was the skinny one. At least that’s what I thought. But somehow she helped me to see myself differently. I learned a great lesson that day. When you change your inward thinking, your attitude and outward actions follow. I’ve never forgotten that teacher or her words. It’s been said that one compliment can impact a person for life. With this New Year upon us, let’s resolve to bless others with heartfelt compliments. It just might change someone’s life. It did mine.
Louise Tucker Jones is an award-winning author,
inspirational speaker & founder of
Wives With Heavenly Husbands, a support group for widows.
LouiseTJ@cox.net or LouiseTuckerJones.com.