The other day as I was walking around the elevated track at the fitness center, cooling down after my cardio workout, when I happened to look down at the basketball courts on the lower level. There was a young boy of perhaps 8 or nine years old shooting baskets. He was with a college age man who I assumed was some sort of coach or trainer. I sensed the coach/trainer was just getting acquainted with the young man, trying to get a sense of his interests and his level of fitness. The boy was not especially tall and was clearly overweight but he knew his way around a basketball. As I circled the track, I watched him put up shot after shot that fell deftly through the net with just a swish. When I finished my cool down, I walked down the stairs and approached the boy and his coach. I told him that I was impressed by his skills and encouraged him to keep working on his game. He smiled from ear to ear and that’s when I noticed his mother standing off to the side smiling as well. It took less than a minute of my time. I hope it made their day a bit brighter.
I’m a glass is half full kind of person. I most often try to find the positive in any given situation. I feel it is important to let others know when they have done something well. Just as I hope others will let me know when I am deserving. A compliment goes a long way to reinforce a positive self image and to encourage desired behavior. But it has to be sincere and truthful. It doesn’t serve the recipient well if the feedback isn’t justified. In fact it can backfire on you. Imagine you have just had dinner at a friend’s house and you rave about how much you enjoyed the Schnitzel when, in fact, it was all you could do just to finish the portion on your plate. Because you have given the host positive feedback it would not be unreasonable to expect to see Schnitzel on the menu again. In almost any situation you can find something that is worthy of recognition. Focus on that and be true to yourself.
The Department of Homeland Security established a program in 2010 with the catch phrase “If you see something, say something”. In this context it is intended to prevent something terrible from happening. Although I use a similar phrase, the intent is allow something positive to take place. When I see something good happening, I say something that I hope will cheer, inspire, uplift or motivate. See something, say something and you just make your day a little bit brighter as well.