A Sweet Thing to Say

I do enjoy feeling good about my accomplishments, and also like to help people feel good about theirs. If I were to be my own therapist, I think I’d throw back to my time in K-12 school. Positive feedback didn’t seem to be in vogue then. I was a fairly bright and socially awkward child, and the less attention I got from my adult teachers, the more I craved and demanded it, and the less forthcoming it seemed to be. So I think I grew to adulthood with an unmet need.

Just the other day, I got word that one of my college professors and longtime friend had received a prestigious award for a writing project she had done. I sent her my congratulations, and she replied with the following:

“Thank you for the kind words, Ted. I’m not into planting trees, chopping wood, building things, and vegetable gardening, so I write instead. It has been a rewarding project.”

I think her admission of the things she is not into comes partly from reading this blog. I worry that sometimes in my exuberance for the life I enjoy out here, I may alienate some of my friends that live in town and haven’t the physical stamina to do the things I do. So I replied,

“Chopping wood heats the house for the winter. A book like yours feeds curious minds for generations. I’m glad you write. Ted”

It came from my heart. Not only her writing, but all the teaching she has done throughout the years that helped disorganized piles of snot like the young version of me develop into reasonably thinking adults. I was heartened by her reply,

“What a sweet thing to say! Thank you.”

A good rule of thumb I’ve developed is, never miss an opportunity to tell someone that deserves it they’re doing a good job.

One Response to “A Sweet Thing to Say”

  1. Bill Davis says:

    There is nothing I enjoy more than “hearing” someone who is exuberant about what they are doing. Obviously, there are some things I enjoy hearing more than others and a few topics that might be a turn off but it is nice to communicate with folks that have such positive energy.

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