One of my interpersonal initiatives of late has been of paying a compliment when it is due. How many of us get a compliment during the daily shuffle?
My concomitant effort is to sincerely inquire about a person's day. An Irish barman I know showed me the value of this simple gift last year. In mid-winter. A howling Manhattan wind made even my Wisconsin blood frost. My face a rigid mask, I (shockingly) found myself pushing open the door of a pub. Whereupon the barman looked at me with genuine concern and said "How're you keepin'?" The friendly concern, and the Powers whiskey, warmed me right up. I can't effect the accent to ask of someone's wellbeing in the Irish way, but I think it is well worth while to make the inquiry. One day last week, for example. A waitress at lunch asked me how I was doing. I replied and then sincerely asked her how her day was coming along. She grinned and said "Fine, now that you mention it. And thank you so much for asking".
I have found this sort of response to be very common when you simply show interest in another person's day. People are so happy that you give a damn. Try it. Spread the love. It costs nothing. But it brings a small moment of joy to others. And it is a funny thing. The moments of joy you give to others tend to bounce right back to you.
How ARE you keepin', anyhow?
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