I was busy preparing my upcoming post, a mix of travel and humor (two of my favorite things), when I decided to slow it down and write a “Welcome to the Weekend” post today. My Friday mornings, my day off from school psychology, are the first time I have during the week to be truly reflective. My Welcome to the Weekend posts are real-time thoughts and inspirations as I welcome us all to the start of the weekend. On my mind today are the kind words you shared with me on my ‘Stylemindchic Lifestyle Turns 3‘ blog post. I feel touched and inspired to continue my blog journey. I will read your comments any time I need inspiration. My deepest thanks to all my readers for taking the time to comment. Today I am reflecting of the power of a kind word.
Years ago, while living in the San Francisco Bay area, I was invited to a celebratory dinner party for a dear friend. I was going through a heart-breaking divorce, and, frankly, had to drag myself off the couch to go. I felt defeated, unloved, and like I would rather crawl into a hole. As I approached the toll gate, on the Bay Bridge, I noticed the toll-taker dancing in his booth. I zeroed in on that lane and heard the thumping music as I pulled up. He looked at me, with a huge smile and said, “You are beautiful, and you are glowing. I want to go where you’re going!” It may sound odd, but the clouds parted for me. I looked at my reflection, in the rear view mirror, as I pulled away, and realized that I had not disappeared completely. During other times in life when I’ve lacked self-confidence, I’ve reflected on that moment, when a complete stranger saw something of value in me. I will always be grateful for that toll-taker on the Bay Bridge in San Francisco.
It happened to me again, on my visit to San Sebastian, Spain. I was feeling achy, cranky, and like I was coming down with a bug one evening. As we left a crowded tapas bar, a beautiful, curly-haired blonde woman came running after us. She said she felt awkward, maybe she shouldn’t have approached me. She stammered a bit and said, “It must be said, you look so glamorous and happy. We were watching you during dinner and I just wanted you to know.” I hugged her and reassured her that I welcomed her words. Her courage in approaching me, with genuine kindness, was touching. (I also think her perspective may have had something to do with my vivid coral maxi dress.) If the beautiful German girl I met in San Sebastian is reading this post, I have remembered your words, and your bravery, in reaching out to me as a complete stranger. As I see the painful lives of children at my workplace, the horrible news and all the negativity on social media these days, it makes me realize we need more of her kind of courage.
I wanted to share this story as a reminder about the power of sharing kind words. We often think them, but saying them is a powerful step. You may never know how significantly your words will impact the life of someone, even a stranger. How about it? Let’s be bold and share those kind words with family, friends, and even strangers. It feels so good to reach out and make someone’s day.
When was the last time a stranger made your day?
Wishing you a weekend filled with kind words and courage!
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