PRACTICE ON YOUR DOG if, like me, you find it tough to dish out compliments.
Or practice on your cat.
Or your potted petunia.
If you are anything like me, it comes a whole lot more natural to criticize, complain, and pick at people than it does to praise them.
I don’t know why it is.
But it is.
We don’t have to remind ourselves to give another driver a stick figure hand gesture on the way to work. It’s not as though we would get to work and say, “Rats! I forgot to give a stick figure gesture today.”
Or for those of us with arthritis, it might be a shaking fist – Parkinson’s on fast forward.
On the other hand – which isn’t shaking or gesturing – it seems that many of us do have to remind ourselves to say kind words to the people we love most.
We can come to the end of our day and realize that we have said “Thank you” to the grunt working the coffee grinder and half a dozen other strangers, but never once to our wife or husband or kids. Though maybe the dog.
“Encourage one another and build each other up,” (1 Thessalonians 5:11, TNIV).
I know. From time to time we’ve got to say things like:
- Help! Who left the empty roll of toilet paper?
- You put your mother’s what on our credit card?
- Am I the only one who ever empties the dishwasher?
Words like those flow naturally, don’t they?
But there are other words we need to say, too.
They don’t come so naturally. They take some thinking ahead.
So go ahead.
- Thanks for the way you juggle a full-time job and a full-time family.
- Do you know you’ve got a reputation for kindness? That’s what people think of you. They’re right about you.
- You make buttermilk brownies better than anyone else on the planet. Now please go buy me a bigger belt.
And all the people said…