“Kind words may be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”
– Mother Theresa
Within just moments of walking into work this morning, an elderly gentleman who to be quite honest had more spirit than Santa Claus, emerged from the back client room with a glowing smile spread across his face. He was full of life and of course, like most men his age, he was quick to make more than his fair share of old fashioned jokes. Jokes which just so happened to have me in absolute fits of laughter, compliments of my ‘laugh at anything’ sense of humour.
Joke after joke he continued to make me chuckle until suddenly, he stopped for a moment. He looked at me again with that same glowing smile spread across his face and in a very polite manner, went on to tell me that he didn’t want me to be at all embarrassed but that he felt as though he needed to tell me something. Expecting yet another one of his famous jokes, his sincerity in the comments that followed had somehow managed to catch me completely off guard. Much to my surprise, what came next was not at all the joke that I had been expecting, but was instead one of the most genuine, heartfelt compliments that I think I have ever received, quite possibly in all of my life.
There he was, a complete stranger with nothing to gain, telling me that I had the most beautiful, infectious, enchanting smile that he had seen in many, many years. He told me that he was the type of man who gave credit where credit was due and that according to him, I was absolutely gorgeous and that I had just made his day. Words that despite sounding slightly cliche right now, were spoken in the most honest and sincere tone that I have ever come across.
Before leaving, he again complimented me on my smile and with a cheeky little grin beginning to set upon his face, asked if he could please have just one more for the road. Then just like that he was gone, leaving behind one very, very happy girl who was shown for the second time this month just how long the kind words of a stranger can linger. Kind words that although may have been completely unexpected, made more of an impacted than I ever could have imagined.
So while at first glance, it may have seemed that my smile had somehow managed to brighten his day, what he didn’t realise was that he too had managed to brighten mine.