Monday, July 14, 2008

Stuff I Learned From my Kids--Entry 42

Tell people they "look pretty" more often.

My kids tell me this all the time, and it always causes me to stop and smile. It really brightens my day. I was thinking about this, and it seemed wasteful to me to see something pretty and not mention it to someone. It seems such a simple thing one can do to make an enormous difference in someone's day, so I've been trying to do this. The other day I saw a girl sitting in the hall outside of my classroom who had these great tan pumps on, so I said, "Those are beautiful shoes." Last week I passed someone on the stairs who had on this awesome fuschia sweater, so I said, "That sweater looks beautiful on you." I have a feeling people cannot hear the word "beautiful" used in reference to themselves too much. I know I can't.

Guess what? This works for writing too. There is so much writing out there that is simply not attractive. If you see pretty writing, compliment it. Take the time to leave a response when you see something noteworthy. It really takes very little of your time, but it can make a huge difference in someone's perspective for the day--yours included. Seeing the beauty in the day-to-day stuff doesn't always come easy. As with everything else, practice makes perfect here too. If you make it a point to look for beauty and respond to it, you'll have an easier time recongnizing what's beautiful (and what's not) in your own writing.

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