Last year, my New Year’s Resolution was that every single time someone helped me – in the grocery store, the drug store, gave me directions in a hospital or primate center (I did not go to any primate centers) – I would say, “Thank you, I appreciate your help.”
I like being told thank you, and I like being appreciated, so I can only imagine others might enjoy it too.
I did it. Every single time.
Then on my birthday, I added in that I would give a compliment every time I sincerely could.
I had a great 2013.
I spent so much time and energy looking for good things that I didn’t have nearly as much energy or daylight to burn on irritability or annoyance (except in parking lots. Everybody needs a vice).
An amazing thing happened. Around summertime, because I travel a beaten path, people I didn’t expect started recognizing me: the cashier at Publix greeted me last night with, “Long time no see!”
I’m going to continue that. It costs absolutely nothing, but I think it’s spreading a little bit of joy in a world where unpredictable things can go spectacularly wrong.