We've all heard it said, "If you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all." But I think the opposite is equally important and bears saying as well. "If you have something nice to say, SAY IT!"
I started reflecting on this last night on my drive home from one of my performances at the Bay Village Library. The reason for that was this -- at the conclusion of the performance, a mother who had been sitting in the front row with her son, who I'm guessing was about five years old, approached me. She told me that she wanted to share something that her son had said when the story ended. Apparently, he turned to his mom and said, "Mom, you know what I wish? I wish that the story didn't have to be over." She then proceeded to tell me that her son had always been shy and that his participation in today's story was the first time that he'd gotten up to do something in front of people. He'd really enjoyed it, and so she was thinking about seeing what theatre classes might be available for him at the local theater.
All of this really meant a lot to me. To know that a child is so engaged in the story that he doesn't want it to be over -- what better compliment could I receive? And yet, I thought that it would have been so easy for this mother to just walk out the door after the performance without ever sharing that with me. She didn't have to take the time to seek me out and to share her son's words, but in doing so, she blessed me immeasurably and gave me so much encouragement. I wonder if even she knows how much those words meant and how it is just these sorts of moments and experiences that keep me going on the days that work gets tough.
And so I started thinking, how often do we think something nice about someone and then just fail to share it with them? Oftentimes, we are quite vocal with the things that annoy or irritate us. We are quick to point out when someone does something wrong. But what about the good things? Do we share those too or do we just keep them to ourselves?
I've heard a lot of people say, "Well, they know how I feel about them." These people use this as an excuse for keeping quiet. But do they really know how you feel? And even if they do, does it matter? What would it hurt to say it again? And who knows what encouragement that might bring to their day, their work, their life?!
I'm grateful that many people have taken the time to encourage me. I want to do the same for others, and I hope you do too! So, if you have something nice to say, you know what to do, SAY IT!