Adulthood is quite thankless. How often does someone in your life tell you what they love about you? When you’ve done five loads of washing, how often does someone say what an amazing job you did not to gnaw off your own arm through the sheer boredom of it all? How often do you look someone in the eye and tell them what a funny, kind person they are?
The world is full of judgement, constructive criticism and straight out rip-to-shreds criticism. There are Facebook pages full of hate posts and Twitter handles dedicated to celebritiy flaws. If you have a problem with someone or something you just put it online, perhaps with an accompanying meme or vlog. It’s simple. Lost in this world of instant opinion making is a sense of decency. Why is it so easy to tell people what you don’t like about them, but so hard to tell people what you do like?
Each week, in my daughter’s class, a student is chosen to be the Star Of the Week. It’s a simple initiative which probably takes place, in some variation, in many classrooms throughout the world. Miss 6 was recently Star of the Week and for the days leading up to it and the entirety of her reign she walked taller. Every mention of it made her smile and her eyes would twinkle with pride.
At the end of the week everyone in her class was given a paper star and asked to colour it in. On each star the kids wrote one positive statement about her and then stuck them into a book for her to take home. Words like kind, funny, good friend, nice, beautiful and caring were used to describe Miss 6. She carried the book with her for days. She slept with the book under her pillow. When she’s feeling a little blue I find her quietly reading the book.
It is such a simple initiative, yet one I think many adults would cherish. To be reminded of all the good things about yourself.
Day-in day-out people everywhere go about their days in such a hurry. They get lost in their own struggles. Rushing from one commitment to the next, filling their days with stuff. Time speeds faster on a treadmill. Running against the wind machine. People who wash and clean up after others, those who spend half their time commuting, diaries full of activities, scrubbing floors, standing in lines, making ends meet, just surviving. When do you get the chance to look someone in the eye and say thank you? Or write them a note telling them why you appreciate their friendship? Or when does your boss call you into their office just to say job well done? A simple pat on the back. Have your kids given you hug lately just because? Thank you is a little word.
Today I’m going to tell someone what makes them special. No strings attached. And tomorrow I’m going to tell someone else and so on and so on. In my own little way, I’m going to sprinkle some star dust.
How about you?