“If you can say something nice to someone, do it!” That’s what I advise in my memoir about seeking the meaning of life. It’s a simple and powerful idea. If you see something or think something nice, important, interesting, profound, helpful, about someone, tell the person.
I used to take a bus to work. If I saw the driver making some smooth moves in thick traffic, I’d mention his great driving on my way off the bus. Made the day for both of us.
Where I worked a few years ago there was a woman who worked hard all the time. She was always making something better. I went up to her one day and said, “I am impressed by how much work you do everyday and how much you make this a better place. Thank you.” Can you imagine how she felt?
I have a neighbor who helps me sometimes (I’m no longer allowed on the roof of my house). When I see him, I almost always remind him of his last good deed at my house and thank him again for being a great neighbor. I don’t think he gets tired of my saying so.
In constructing a new local business doing workshops, I see a coach to help me organize my thoughts. She is great and I tell her so every time we meet.
Saying something nice is not the same as thanking someone. It is more pointing out something you noticed them do or expressing a nice thought you had about them.
In my book Personal Wisdom, I talk about my goal in life, to touch and be touched, meaning, creating as much connection, as much intimacy as I can with others. Saying something nice is a good way of achieving that. At first it takes a little effort, but with practice, it’s almost impossible not to do.