A few days ago, I was really enjoying the book I was reading* and I thought, "You know, this author is an internet person, I could totally email/tweet/Tumbl at her and tell her how much I'm enjoying her book. And then I thought, "But I won't."
"Self," I said. "What's your problem?" I shrugged. "Are you afraid she won't respond? Or that she will respond and tell you she thinks you're weird for saying you like her book?" I shrugged again. "That's dumb, self." I nodded in agreement (note: talking to yourself is totally normal. Nodding to yourself is, undeniably, a little weird. But bear with me because I think this is a good idea) and I sat down to write this blog post.
How many times have you thought something nice about someone--from Beyonce to an author to your librarian to a stranger on the bus (just tryin' to make his way home, perhaps)--and then not said that thing to that person? Because, AWKWARD, right? Yeah, me too. And, lest you think I am just a mean, mean, compliment miser, let me refer you to this awesome post at the equally awesome Kindness Project. I'm willing to bet it's happened to you.
But hey: it's about to be February! The month of love! So why don't we all try to share the love a little?
|Feel free to use this; also fee free to make a much, much better image and use that.|
The challenge is simple: every day in February, compliment a new person. One compliment to one person each day, for twenty-eight days.
You can write a fan letter to someone fabulous, you can tell your postman/woman that you really appreciate how he/she keeps your mail dry and always gets it in the right box (something that's hard to truly appreciate until the substitute mailman puts all your mail in your landlady's mailbox), you can say, "Cool headphones" to the girl next to you on the train (but remember, in that case, to speak very loudly; she's got headphones on!)
Of course, giving any compliments is better than giving no compliments, so don't chuck the whole project in despair if you awake on the second of February realizing that you didn't compliment anyone on the first.
And, because I really want this to catch on, I'm going to sweeten the pot a little bit.
For every person who posts about giving even ONE compliment in the month of February and links up in the list below, I will donate $0.26** to classrooms in need through DonorsChoose.org, up to $500 dollars.
Now, this might take me a while. But whatever the total is, I will pay a little bit each month, whatever I can, until I've paid off my pledge.
And friends, this is where I need your help. I would LOVE to have to give the full amount to Donors Choose--but I need your help getting other people involved (it will take close to 2,000 participants to reach the full amount!) I'm not looking for new followers, but if you can spread the word about this project, I'd be really grateful. Twitter/Tumblr/FB/IRL/whatever, let people know that this is going on. All anyone has to do is:
1) Give a compliment!
2) Tell the internet about that compliment (again, via Twitter/Tumblr/FB/blogs)
3) Post the link in the list below. (Remember, I'll donate even if you just share the story of ONE compliment! But if you want to share more stories and see what others have done, that will be awesome too!)
I'll validate all entries on March 1st and announce the total here. I'm posting about this now so that there's a few days to spread the word. If you want to take this idea and start your own link-up or do your own pledge or giveaway or contest or anything else I haven't thought of that will convince people to try this, that's great too. The goal is to get people to participate, even once, in a whole month of telling other people why they're awesome.
- If you don't like talking to people, send an email or tweet, or leave a blog comment.
- If you don't want a paper trail, stick to the people you encounter in your daily life: the cashier at the grocery store, the woman who works three cubicles down, another parent at pre-school drop-off, the guy in your gym class you've never spoken to who has mad kickball skillz.
- Try to be specific: "You always have the best earrings!" "I've never seen anyone with handwriting that neat." "I love how you arranged those Doctor Who figurines on your desk--they really brighten up your cube!" (This can be accomplished in literally five seconds a day, y'all.)
- Oh--and be safe. In general, people are unlikely to get stabby in response to a kind word, but use your best judgement when talking to new people, you know?
So: Here is the list. Once you write about your compliment/compliments, add the link. You will have made someone's day (or maybe even 28 someones) and I will be donating another $0.26 to teachers and kids who need money for supplies and books and trips and all kinds of good things. You can do this.
Bonus: Because you're awesome, and because I can't say enough good things about Donors Choose, I'm also giving away three $10 giftcards!
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*Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan--highly recommended! And I did send that email. I haven't died of awkwardness yet, so.
**26 cents a person, to honor the 26 students and teachers who died in Newtown, CT. While I found the whole event too horrific to really talk about, I am inspired by the people who found a way to take some good from the situation by doing 26 acts of kindness.