“Kind words do not cost much. Yet they accomplish much.” – Blaise Pascal
Words matter. They have the power to make or break your day. An encounter, a small conversation or just a brief comment can stay in your memory for a long time. Whether the words were nice or if they were unkind doesn’t matter when it comes to remembering. It is much more pleasant to think of good words rather than bad ones.
Last night, I was telling a friend at work a story about when I was dating a few years ago. I said something about not wanting to settle for less of a man, and the fact that I was fifty-something years old gave me the right to be choosy. She stopped and looked at me, acting very surprised. And then she says “I had no idea you were that up there in age. You look younger.” It was just an innocent comment, a conversation between friends. Hearing something that I felt was nice – that I look young, at least to her – put a smile on my face and kept me happy all night.
Years ago, actually over twenty-nine years ago – I had just had Kevin. I was big, bloated, breast feeding – and not feeling particularly pretty. I had taken the two boys to the mall. I don’t even remember why we went there. Maybe for an actual reason, maybe just to get out of the house. Anyway, I decided to get pizza for Michael and I. Kevin was asleep in the carriage. Michael was patiently waiting as we moved up on line. When it got to be our turn, the cute guy serving us smiled. He greeted Michael with a “hi, buddy” or something, and then he looked at me and said “hello beautiful, what can I get for you today?” I am sure beautiful was something I didn’t look that afternoon. Nevertheless, his smile and the way he said those words perked me up and kept me smiling for a long, long time. I would imagine he spoke that way to a lot of women – he wasn’t a flirt, he was just nice. It obviously made an impact on me, as I still remember that all these years later.
Christine and I went to Orlando in the Spring of 2008 for WrestleMania. I had just had my Weight Loss Surgery that December (actually it was the day after Christmas 2007). I remember a lot from that trip – a few things stick out in my mind – back then, the Citrus Bowl was an absolute dump, and this was the trip that my hair kept falling out. This is common after Weight Loss Surgery, due to reduced intake of protein. We joked that it was a wonder I had hair left on my head. What I really remember though about this trip was what was said to me on the flight – I don’t remember if we were going to Florida or heading back home. I was sitting in the middle seat – Christine always likes to sit by the window. There was a woman in the aisle talking with the flight attendants. They were looking at her ticket. They told her she had an aisle seat, and she could sit on the side with me or the other side. The woman looks at that other seat and tells the flight attendant, looking my way “oh, I’ll sit here. Next to this woman. She’s tiny.” And smiled at me. I had lost a significant amount of weight by that time, but I didn’t think of myself as tiny. Yet she saw me that way. I felt so happy and proud of myself that I was looking good. It was a great feeling.
One time when I was a Transporter, a nurse and I were trying to convince a patient to get ready to go for some sort of test (I don’t remember what kind of test it was). The patient was reluctant. She really didn’t want to go. I never thought this nurse liked me. She always seemed upset, tense. And not happy. Fast forward to years later, we found out that she had some bad personal problems with family members. Anyway, we went back and forth with the patient. She seemed to be softening her stance. The nurse sensed this and said, “it will be ok. Go with Lisa. She’s the best and nicest transporter we have.” I felt so proud of myself when I heard her say that. The patient did agree to go for the test, and every time after that day I always smiled at that nurse. And she’d smile back at me.
So if you see someone wearing a cute necklace, say something. If you see someone wearing a color that you think looks really good on them, let them know. If you like the cologne someone is wearing, ask what kind it is. A little, insignificant blurb of words can change things for the better for someone. And for you too.