My Favorite Saying
Serve Compliments on a Platter
Don’t miss the opportunity to tell someone job well done
By: Bethany Firem
“If there is a compliment you wish to give, then serve it on a platter. Inhibitions of the heart make us stand still without reason.”
I constructed this quote in high school when the yearbook committee announced over the loudspeaker in homeroom one morning that they were seeking quotes from the senior class. Given there was no theme, free will was at hand. So I grabbed a slip of paper, scribbled down a sentence, stuck it in the submission box and went about my day. I found out at the end of the year that it had been published.
The words have meaning for me because they place my friends, family and co-workers (people I often take for granted) in a brighter light. The words help me remember that I’m surrounded by qualities that I would be lucky to even clumsily emulate.
Compliments are so often mistaken as mandatory, something you say to be nice or for obligation’s sake in passing. For example, when someone gives me flowers, buys me lunch or acknowledges a new outfit, “Oh, thank you, how nice of you,” I say. But, really, it’s those things people do each day on the fly that are commendable and deserving of a pat on the back, like a social worker talking her client down from a frenzy or a father packing his daughter’s lunch for another school day.
A seemingly simple phrase, and yet a substantial one, because many of us let little gems like these slide past us all day without our blinking an eye. Don’t get me wrong- there’s a difference between genuine regard for someone and genuine butt-kissing, the latter being more self-serving. But to inhibit that which is a round of applause from the heart is needless procrastination in our short lives.