I had something happen to me yesterday that was so nice that it’s still with me today. It was a little thing, really. A brief interaction with someone who had come into my office. I work in local government, at city hall. The office I work in is involved with the issuing of permits. As the account clerk of the department (a fancy word for secretary) I’m usually the one doing the issuing, so I interact with the public quite a bit.
Yesterday was a pretty normal day, which means it was hectic and I was trying to do about eleven things at once. At some point in the afternoon a woman came in for a permit. She seemed nice, probably about my age. As I was waiting for the copier to spit out her permit, she asked me if my hair was naturally curly. I told her it was, but that the curls had come to me later in life, in my early thirties. Probably something to do with hormones from childbirth. Up until that point my hair had been dead straight my entire life. She said she had a similar experience, with her hair suddenly becoming curly. It was nice to have that in common with someone, because I had never met anyone before who had that happen.
And then after that brief interaction she smiled and told me she thought my curls were very pretty. Nobody has ever said that to me before. My hair is not my best feature. It’s thin and fine and lifeless and I will probably go more in depth with that topic at a later time. But for her to just come out and give a compliment to me, a complete stranger, brightened my entire day. The rest of the afternoon was a little less stressful, my mood elevated and my whole self ready to tackle whatever problems came across my desk.
This experience reminded me that it costs exactly zero dollars to bring a little bit of sunshine to someone else’s day. You never know, that little compliment or a few kind words could change the course of a person’s day. And as women, we take on so much of every one else’s worries. We are caretakers, parents, spouses and lovers. We make our way through life carrying so much weight on our shoulders. Sometimes that weight can feel overwhelming and it seems like all we do is worry. Women deserve to be celebrated for their strength, their resilience, their skills. They deserve to have their beauty – every kind of beauty – acknowledged every day. They deserve to be empowered and uplifted. And starting today I am going to make an effort to uplift as many women as I can. To compliment them on their hair or their shoes or that kick-ass bag they are carrying. To give them warm and genuine smiles, to let them know that I see them, and that I appreciate them for everything they are. I hope you will commit to doing the same, and together we can create a wave of love through our communities.