I think all humans crave recognition, some just need it more than others. I thrive on compliments and have learned as an instructor to say, “I am proud of you,” or “Good job,” as often as possible. My quilting students beam and try even harder when they get praised. A genuine compliment goes a long way, for both people involved.

Way back when, as a new bride, I served my husband my first and last attempt at making Spanish Rice. He took a bite and made a face. I burst into tears (mind you, I was very young) and said, “I haven’t even sat down yet!” He replied, “It’s good. I’ll eat it.” After my first bite, I grabbed the bowls and threw them in the sink, saying, “That’s not fit to feed to the dog.” We laughed and went out for a hamburger. I don’t remember why it was so bad, but I remember how crushed I was at the face he made. Finding out he was correct, put everything into perspective very quickly. He deserves an accolade for attempting to eat it.

I’ve become a much better cook since then, but sometimes, my experiments aren’t very good. I have a different, and wonderful husband now. He eats whatever I put in front of him. If I say the meal isn’t very good, he smiles, and says, “You can’t hit a home run every time.” He knows how to stroke my desire for positive reinforcement.

The National Day of calendar information points out that a compliment about someone’s character and a compliment about how someone does something are two different things. I had to think about that for a minute, to decipher the difference. I figured out, I can always find some reason to praise someone, even if I don’t care for them as a person.

I challenge you on National Compliment Day to hand out genuine, plentiful compliments. The people around you will notice and I guarantee it will help you see others in a more positive light because you are looking for the good.