An esteemed colleague and friend texted me on my way home from a long day and dinner tonight. “Thinking about you & wishing you the best…” he wrote.
Wow. We texted back and forth. A little personal exchange, but mostly just shining the light of appreciation on each other and the difficult but amazingly good work we do in the lives of young people each and every day.
“Your work continues to infuse mine with depth and breadth. So much gratitude” I wrote back.
“You are one of the champs. I’ve such a devoted fan.” was his response.
This is one of the most complimentary connections I have ever made in my life – professional or otherwise. This colleague is a Jedi master. And I am. . . Well. I’m “just” me. But there is something he is connecting to in me that resonates. And it raises “me” in my own esteem. (Weird, right? A gift. Right?) I have learned so much from him. I have learned that to compliment someone on their work or their passion is more than good. It is extraordinarily exquisite. It lifts, buoys, but it does even more than that. It can put a person – albeit one who does good work on a daily basis but maybe doesn’t always believe or appreciate all the good work she does – up into orbit. And it can inspire her to do more, be more, continue.
I find myself seeking for ways to pay this forward. To find the spark in others and acknowledge it and reflect the exquisiteness of it back to them so they too may basque in the knowing that what they do and who they are matter to the world in incredibly rich and important ways.
Thank you, rock star colleague and friend for your support, for SEEING me and acknowledging the connection made in the work we do.