Tuesday, January 29, 2013

February Compliment Challenge

The Setup

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.

The Pitch

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. 

Tips:

  • 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!

a Rafflecopter giveaway  
 
*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.

46 comments:

  1. This is such a great idea, Jess! :) You never know just how much something seemingly small like a compliment can make someone's day. I'm going to try and compliment one person every day. (I often go days at a time without speaking to anyone around here, but that doesn't mean I can't find people to compliment, right?) Plus, Donors Choose is just awesome. :)

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    1. Thanks! Yeah, I feel like online complimenting will be a big part of my challenge on the days that I don't go out for work or whatever, but that's good too!

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  2. What a lovely idea. I'm doing it!

    I'm trying to find a way to donate 26 books to the kids in my son's class (there happen to be 26 students) by the end of the year - which could get very expensive!

    PS - I also complimented my new co-worker this morning, who finds the greatest sweaters at Goodwill - in fact, she bought one for me last week! :)

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    1. The book donation is a lovely idea--check out Amazon's bargain section (and also they sometimes do a buy-X-get-1-free, so keep an eye out for that.) B&N has good deals, too, especially online. Good luck!

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    2. Thanks for the ideas. But I think I still have too much crabbiness left over from January to be intentionally complimentary. Ha ha. Hope you had a fabulous time at SCBWI!!!!

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  3. This is a wonderful idea. I'm definitely going to try and do it. Thanks for the inspiration. I hope you get lots of links!

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  4. I love this idea! I try to do it all of the time! I love that you are visiting my blog! Thank you!

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    1. Thanks! Hope you'll share one of your compliment stories in February!

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  5. Great idea, Jess! I hope a lot of people get on board with it. Especially since the "reward" goes to someone else--that makes the compliment less about getting something for yourself, and more about making someone else's day brighter.

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    1. Thanks! I'm hoping to get a lot of participation--I hope you'll join in and help spread the word!

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  6. What a cool idea - I'm in. Started without knowing it this morning (and it's only Jan 31st!)
    It reminds me of a cool project I heard of recently, about how at a school for Valentine's day, they did this project FIND YOUR HEART. The teachers created a valentine's heart from construction paper - one for each student - and wrote on it a compliment specific to that student. Then, hundreds of these hearts were posted up on the school walls and hallways. Everywhere you looked. Students had to find THEIR heart, and then wear it on their shirts the rest of the day. The whole atmosphere was about kindness and compliments... it sounded great. Your idea is right in there with that, and I think it's great.
    And thanks as well for being part of the 2013 Comment Challenge!
    Namaste (the light in me recognizes and acknowledges the light in you),
    Lee

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    1. Thanks, Lee! I'm really excited to give this a shot. That Valentine's Day project sounds really, really awesome--thanks for sharing!

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  7. This is a great idea! I posted something similar a few months ago because I felt bad about being such a lurker: http://mclicious.org/2012/07/11/how-is-a-blog-like-a-seminar-or-how-is-a-raven-like-a-writing-desk/

    I'm definitely going to work on this. First, I commend you for coming up with such a great idea. :-)

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    1. Thanks! Speaking up positively is the way to go!

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  8. This is a great idea. My DonorsChoose giving page always has 26 projects (from 26 different classrooms)in honor of the Sandy Hook students and staff.Sharing this with my DonorsChoose "family" of teachers who have never met but support each other.

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  9. Today, I complimented our new teacher on how quiet her students were in line. (She just started after Christmas.)

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    1. Awww, love that one! I'm sure she really appreciated it!

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  10. Today, I complimented my kindergarten student who chose a toothbrush from the treasure chest so he wouldn't have to share with his sister anymore. ( I also kept him back as the other students were leaving and gave him one for his sister and a FREE pick from the treasure chest.)

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    1. Oh my god, break my heart why don't you! That's so sweet.

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    2. It broke my heart as well.

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  11. Just entering. I like this idea a lot actually.
    Told my teacher I thought her new haircut was nice (pretty generic, but it really did look great).

    I do it every day, but I also gave my best friend loads of compliments.

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    1. Hey, who doesn't love getting that compliment? It's not generic *to her*, you know? Way to go!

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  12. Today I complimented a co-teacher on her great doodles during an inservice! I wish I could draw.

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  13. I just complimented hubby on his haircut!

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  14. I complimented my brother on his first grandchild. Jones is a cutie!

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  15. i just wanted to complement my husband for being so wonderful!

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  16. I complimented Kindergarten Rocks on being awesome!

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    1. Just checked out their site--it does look awesome! I feel pretty competent in classrooms grades 3-12, but man, I am in awe of people who work with the littlest guys. Nice!

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  17. I complemented Kindergarten Rocks for supporting teachers, I complemented my oldest daughter for running a sermon time group for children at church and I complemented my younger daughter on doing beautiful artwork for her 3rd grade project :)

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    1. Aww, that's awesome that your kids are doing such good things!

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  18. I complimented my daughter who is 8 on a job well done at her ski race this weekend. She is a super cool kid.

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  19. I complimented Kindergarten Rocks for always looking out for us teachers!!

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    1. Glad they're getting so much love from this challenge!

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  20. I complimented my hubby on a delicious new pasta dish he created. (I am blessed with a hubby who loves to cook!)

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    1. Yum! That is such a great quality in a husband :)

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  21. I complimented my friend, Chris on her awesome DonorsChoose project for eyeglasses for 3 of her students. That is true caring!!

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  22. I complimenterd jennifer for going back to college and finishing her degree with 2 small children at home. (She was subbing at my school today.)

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Thanks for coming by! Please chime in!