After treating ourselves to a little Chick-fil-a after class one day last spring, T and I came back to our dorm room to find two lovely little Post-It notes stuck to our door—a pink one and a blue one.
Living on a college campus, it can be a bit scary to come back and find any new, strange things on your door. You name it, I’ve seen it. It’s like walking down the hallway and seeing mini-health lessons and snippets of last week’s Jersey Shore episode plastered everywhere—if you catch my drift.
But T and I took a collective sigh of relief when we realized these notes held no real shock value other than the smile it sent to both of our faces.
What did the notes say? Well both of the Post-it notes simply read “you are beautiful,” penned in blue Sharpie. And if I remember correctly, one of them even had a heart drawn at the bottom. A very simple, very random act of kindness.
Now at the time we didn’t know who put them there or why or even that they were also on the doors of everyone else in the hallway (though we did have two on our door while everyone else only had one).
But. That didn’t matter. Because just that little bit of encouragement, that encouragement that all girls desire to hear—especially about their appearance—had brightened both of our days.
And it also got me thinking…why not say it more? If those three little words that took mere seconds to read could make me walk with a little pep in my step, why didn’t I hear them more? Why didn’t I say them more?
So, I started. I started with me. Now I try and tell myself every day how pretty I am, even on the days I stay in sweats and don’t wash my hair. How beautiful I am. How worth it I am. And you know what? It doesn’t get old hearing you’re pretty—even when you’re hearing it from yourself. It just shows how much I love being me.
Then when I read The Help a few weeks ago, some (well the whole book did, but go with me here) of Aibileen’s words spoke to me. Each day Aibileen would recite this mantra to little Mae Mobley in the hopes that the words would envelope her, become engrained within her, that she would grow up remembering them, believing them long after Aibileen would leave.
While it is is a mood lifter to hear that you’re pretty, it isn’t all about appearances as our culture is driving us to believe. Any compliment, any compliment at all, is enough to make a person’s day a little brighter.
So this school year I am challenging myself to give at least one random and one not-random person a compliment every single day. Because we’re all worth it.
And if that little Post-it note still sits in a box to return to school, wrinkled and folded, still making me smile thinking about it, maybe one of my compliments will do the same for another person. And that’s all I can hope.
P.S. Try my little “You are beautiful” thing—say it to yourself once each day. You’ll be surprised how much you’ll love it.