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Stranger things have happened…

Updated: Aug 31, 2023

I came across a reel the other day, in which a man was walking around Camden paying complements to random strangers, and documenting their (often subtle) reactions.

The moral of the exercise? To demonstrate how powerful the uplift of praise can be, when it comes from an unexpected and unbiased source.

It’s a curious paradox, really, how these ‘love your shoes!’ moments can have such a significant and lingering impact, while the well-meaning pep talks of friends and loved ones waft ceremoniously over-head in true ‘yeh, yeh… whatever!’ fashion!

To test this theory, I took the liberty, earlier this week, of complementing the supermarket checkout girl on her enviably immaculate eyeliner!

Granted, the ‘art’ of on-fleek make up is usually fairly lost on me, but credit where credit’s due… the steadiness of this young woman’s hand, if nothing else, was unquestionable.

The compliment was, by all accounts, received with grace… and also a product recommendation, which now sits rent-free in my mental ‘to buy or not to buy’ list.

The only reason AGAINST adding to my already extensive collection of neglected and dust-covered eye-enhancing tools (besides this very fact,) is that I’ve no doubt in my mind, that the ‘secret’ to those pristine flicks lied in a well-honed craft…rather than in some secret smudge-resistant formula (which bitter experience teaches us is little more than a make-up marketing ploy.)

As for the takehome to all this? Well… I’m fairly sure it’s rooted in the principles of Pay it Forward, but with words rather than actions being the primary currency.

What I’m also fairly sure of, is that the warm-fuzzies of giving and receiving random praise, are not defined by the parameters of ‘personal.’

Complimenting someone’s exemplary spuds, for example, will probably also do the trick.

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