Okay so, the other day I was on a train and the loveliest girl was stood next to me as we were both waiting to get off and she turned and said, ” Excuse me, umm I really like your hair” to which I responded that I loved her earrings but that little compliment has stayed with me ever since. I’ve been kicking myself about it though because I should have asked for her Instagram but I just didn’t..! And it wasn’t that I didn’t think it or that there wasn’t enough time but I was too awkward and she was too lovely and a far better person than me for being so utterly delightful that my mouth simply could not morph to form the words.
I just think the value of a compliment from a complete stranger cannot be valued highly enough. After all, in today’s society who isn’t seeking to appeal to people we don’t know? We all want to fit in, want people to be inspired by what we choose to wear and if you’re like me you want to be the kind of person that strangers feel comfortable to smile at on crowded train journeys. The kind of person people will save when the little auto-closing train divider doors ensnare you unknowingly (please tell me this doesn’t just happen to me..?). Admittedly moments like that one don’t happen very often but when they do I’m always inspired by the people who have the confidence and ability to make someone else feel so good about themselves.
I once had a very brief fling with veganism (which failed epically and so now I am an unashamed meat eater at the moment) and was buying a plain bagel from Bagel Nash when the lady serving me said that it was her new years resolution to compliment someone at least once everyday and so she really liked my lipstick shade. It was an instant boost of confidence for a kind of fragile and confused young ‘un and I still look back on that moment fondly years later as I’m writing this from the computer suite of my college. What a flipping great resolution that was! One that’s selfless and overwhelmingly positive instead of the usual, “I’ll give up chocolate mum” which is easily broken by a comforting slice of Nutella on toast or by those left over coconut Quality Street you just have to eat.
I think it’s easy to forget how privileged some of us are around Christmas and to get hooked on the commercialism it endorses. We’re all guilty of it and no matter how good our intentions are for the festive season, I think we can all admit that we barely pay a thought to those that are homeless or alone on Christmas day. One Christmas present we can all give is a smile to someone across the street or donate a gift to a charity like Family Action or the Salvation Army. (I’ll place links to these campaigns at the bottom of the post) for children and adults who without charities like these wouldn’t have any presents to open.
I also just wanted to write about the Big Issue Foundation who employs 2,000 vendors across the UK. You will have seen and probably walked past a Big Issue vendor multiple times without realising. They’re the people who sell the Big Issue magazine on the street and through this post i want to bring a little awareness of the fact that they aren’t just nuisances on the street that are there to hinder us in our day. They are genuine human people who are part of a great organisation and who are trying to make a living for themselves when they have no home. They’re trying to changes their lives. Now, I’m not here to make anyone feel guilty for not ever buying a Big Issue, but I didn’t know about the foundation and figured probably quite a lot of you didn’t either. Maybe one of my resolutions for 2018 will be to buy at least one Big Issue from a vendor because doing something that small will make a difference to someone a hell of a lot less fortunate than me.
And I think I shall end this post here on the thought that giving kindness and your time for Christmas can be valued so much more than a new handbag.
Thanks always, Em x
– Family Action: https://www.family-action.org.uk/get-involved/together-at-christmas/toy-appeal/
– Salvation Army: https://www.salvationarmy.org.uk/christmas-present-appeal
– Big Issue: https://www.bigissue.org.uk/home