On my way to a downtown drugstore, I saw this dashing woman:
Please meet Gwendolyn Chubb, of JustUs for Justice.
If you've ever been to Chicago in the Winter, then you know we nearly all wear dark-colored coats, for whatever reason. So this bright fashionista really popped and stood out on drab State Street.
"What a beautiful, black snow-bunny," I thought to myself.
Only thing was, I actually said it out loud! To her! I really have a problem noticing beauty, (or succulent food, or a touching film or song, or or or) and not saying anything about it. Why do so many of us silence ourselves when we experience something we like a lot? But let something go wrong, and you can't get those negative, complaining motor-mouths to shut off. Makes no sense.
Anyway, knowing how unaccustomed people are to receiving genuine praise from strangers, I quickly, semi-apologetically said, "Please don't take that the wrong way."
Ha! Before we made it across the street, we were arm-in-arm, heads thrown back, laughing HYSTERICALLY. Why? Because, in that moment, we both caught a spontaneous bout of joy and celebration... in being two Black Women both humble AND confident enough to enjoy the natural exchange of a compliment. No suspicion or weirdness. No attitude or guardedness. We both presumed friendship, and flowed.
And we also both needed something from CVS, so we walked in together, in a happy uproar about how there is hope for greater bonds and relations among Women. We exchanged names, hugged, and then went our separate ways.
But as I walked, I knew I would be writing about this awesome encounter. And how much better would it be if I could reward your visit, and SHOW you the stunning Black Snowbunny? I thought you'd appreciate it ;-)
So, as she was checking out, I told her what I wanted to do, and asked if I could take her picture. She was just as warmly receptive to this idea as she was to my original compliment. The reason I'm carrying on about this, is to try and convey how wonderful it is to be an unassuming, warm-blooded mammal who can lightly, open-heartedly delight in another. Free of hang-ups and triggers, walls and fears.
And by the time we discussed a possible collaboration, and then parted ways, I had completely forgotten about those four-alarm cramps. All because, like a burp, I allowed the bubbling up of joyful expression.
Bottom-line: Delight is always appropriate.
I'm curious: Do you share, or repress, verbal appreciation to others? Why or why not? Please let me know in the comments below! Thanks. Do you have any requests for me?
The question "How are you?" is PROFOUND.
But it has been watered-down to a synonym for "Hello."
Forced or fake auto-responses of obligated okay-ness are expected.
(And if you are going through something tragic, it really doesn't matter! Every social encounter OPENS with this well-established Ritual of Insincerity.)
The question "How are you?" prompts an answer that begins with "I AM _____________."
This means many times each day, you are invited to SPEAK THE MOST POWERFUL STATEMENT that can be spoken of yourself.
And the socially-expected thing to do, is be QUICK + SLICK with your answer.
For a change... TAKE YOUR TIME, and tell your truth. ✍🏾