Do you know, what do we all love to hear? That certain string of words which makes our heart swell up, adds color to our cheeks and brightens our day (or a couple of days). It may be three little words, but not the specific ones you are thinking about. I am talking about a compliment. Compliments laud our abilities. Often they mirror our self beliefs however at times they help us unravel our strengths that we hitherto remained unaware of. On certain occasions, they are like a firm grip on our shoulders that we had been longing for or that voice which says, “Oh stop being a git to yourself and get going”.
I have a recollection of a number of lauds that were addressed to me. Someone once called me Sheldon Cooper. And yes they did not roll their eyes while saying that. A very unusual one that I have had the chance to hear was that I can form beautiful sentences when I am at it. Another time when my Science teacher in class 10 told me, that I was a very down to earth individual marked by perseverance. Though it followed to unfortunate circumstances because he said so while comparing me to my (then) best friend. Another peculiar one was that I am so giving that I should become a doctor. I think they meant Florence Nightingale or maybe it was just a bait to make me fall for that choice of career. However, there are two that I have warmly treasured far above the others.
It was a Corporate Accounting class and I had shot my hand up in very Hermione Granger-esque fashion. I was beaming, quite evidently, because I had solved the question that we were given. Our teacher asked me to note the solution on the board and explain it to the class. I have a very bad handwriting. I never fathomed that it could digress any further aesthetically, until I wrote on a white board for the first time. And yes, I never felt confident in college, not about anything. So I asked the teacher to pick someone else to do the solution for her. As though she had read my mind, she told me,
Never mind about a good handwriting, what you have is a beautiful mind.
She liked me because of my proficiency in her subject. But what struck me about her words was that she was not speaking about the brain but the mind which extends far beyond the realm of calculators, textbooks and classrooms. Maybe she never even meant it the way I interpreted it as; but I like to take it that way.
Not a long time ago, I had seen a setback in the sole thing that I associated myself with. It was sort of an identity crisis for me. Quite a many people tried to talk sense into me. Needless to say, a lot of kind words came my way. What touched me most was when a friend told me that,
You have such an intriguing insight on life and other things, that often I alter my own perceptions to make them consistent with yours. Even fiction seems more enthralling when I see it through your eyes.
In a way, her words made up for faith that I had lost in myself. She assigned value to my opinions. At times, it is highly satisfying that what you think of things or speak of, matters to another being.
That was about me but which one of your compliments do you like the most? Is there a one that you had ardently hoped to hear but it never reached you?