“Years ago my mother used to say to me; she’d say,
“In this world, Elwood, you must be,"
– she always called me Elwood –
“In this world, you must be oh so smart, or oh so pleasant."
Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant.
You may quote me."
— Elwood P Dowd
“Well, I’ve wrestled with reality for 35 years, doctor,
and I’m happy to state I’ve finally won out over it."
— Elwood P Dowd
[Classic post from 5-17-10]
I love movies. It is my favorite sport. A few days ago, I watched Harvey with Jimmy Stewart again, and it is such a lovable movie. I pulled these two quotes above from Jimmy’s character, Elwood P Dowd. And, I agree with Elwood totally. I recommend pleasant as well.
One of the most pleasant things that we can do for one another is to find things about the other to give compliments about. It need not be elaborate, just something that you notice that you are sincere about.
Just a few years ago, I began looking at every individual that comes into my view and thinking to myself about something that I liked about them. Maybe it was that they looked like they were in really good physical shape like they worked out regularly, and I would make a comment about that, or ask them a question such as, ‘how do you get your stomach so flat?’ This, of course, is a compliment in a question, and it gets them talking about that aspect of themselves and helps them feel really good about themselves. It is powerfully healing.
Maybe it is a blouse or shirt that looks great, their hair looks super or they have such a beautiful smile. Any of those things are wonderful to them. Maybe it is how sharply dressed someone is, or the shine on their shoes, the healthy glow of their skin, or the awesome car they are driving. You name it, there is something to find in everyone, every day that you could compliment them about.
As I began looking for things and also began stating those things aloud, even taking the chance of blowing it, each and every time, you can just watch that person light up. I even say it to my wife every day in some way. Whether she is dressed up or dressed down, I always find something to compliment her on.
All of this has created a change in me where I find that I like and appreciate virtually every person. Those that I may struggle with a bit because of my past judgmental attitudes, I now have a quote that I remember and play in my head often by Abe Lincoln: “I don’t like that man. I’ll have to get to know him better." I am finding this to be true–getting to know someone is the way to liking them.
If I could have just one power, it would not be to have all the money I want, it would be to have the eyes of Jesus of Nazareth and see the real people underneath the flesh and bones and attitudes–to see them as they really are inside. Not all the things they’ve done wrong, but the magic that is each of us in spirit and personality when unencumbered. I’m working on it, and dare I say, making just a bit of progress. What fun and what joy!
Pleasantville Is A Good Place To Be.
Spread Some Joy Today–Start today. Look at everyone you see today, but in a different way than usual. Don’t compare yourself to them, but look for something that you like about them today. As you see that thing, make sure, and tell them. Just walk right up and say it. The second one is easier, then easier, and then you will be changing lives daily with nothing but a little sincere praise. How awesome is that?