How To Give Compliments

by Mark Chmiel

It’s easy
Pay attention

Notice little particulars about a person
Exactly not the kind of thing that would be announced with fanfare on Facebook

It could be her subtle flair for fashion, having a periwinkle scarf around her neck just so
It could be how he walks (like the Buddha, not wobbling)

It could be an act of kindness he’d long ago forgotten but that carried that bodhisattva scent
It could be a poem she sends you (and she hadn’t ever written poems till three months ago)

It could be his passion for Thomas Merton or Budapest
It could be the six pages of a hand-written letter she sent you in the mail

It could be his strong soothing voice you wish people could hear daily on the radio
It could be the way she makes her hair into a work of art

It could be the creme brûlée she brings to potlucks
It could be how he listens so warmly to strangers like they went to grade school together

It could be his supporting the troops-now-at-home-and-needy thirty hours a week
It could be the way she touches and moves a limb to lessen pain

The senses will show you the way
To become skilled in offering compliments

Be grateful to everyone

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