Week Two–2,450 Compliments

I hope you saw me on the running path around one of our scenic urban lakes today. If you did, you probably won’t forget me anytime soon, because I handed you a notepad of Post-Its and paid you a compliment.

Some of you smiled in recognition when I mentioned the wishing tree. Some of you humored me like your dotty Aunt Susie, the one who always insists on kissing you, even though she’s missing her top plate. I hope all of you lifted off the page with your compliment and made it to this page (click the photo to enlarge):

And I hope you all decided to help. All twenty-five of you. Because if you did, then you plucked off that second page and found this page, and it’s the reason I’m talking to you right now:

I want you to take your pad home, or back to your office or school, or into the warm confines of your car and write a warm, genuine compliment for someone else. It might be for someone you know–your child, a coworker, your spouse, or a friend. It might be for someone you don’t know. Someone you saw struggling on their run this morning, someone trying to wrangle two kids into a grocery store, or someone who just looked like they could use a smile.

And when you’re done writing that compliment, take this page…

And this page…

And return them to the blank stack of Post-It notes. Like this:

The place your compliment on top…

And give your targeted friend, loved one, or stranger the whole kit and kaboodle. Like this:

Then let’s see what happens. There are one hundred notes in a stack of Post-Its. If every person who receives a compliment forwards their stack to another person, we’ll create 2,450 compliments. (Minus fifty for the two instruction notes! Pay attention, y’all!)

How many smiles do you think that would yield? I like to think smiles for every person receiving a compliment, smiles for the people giving them, and smiles for all of you reading this who are thinking about grabbing a blank stack of Post-Its and starting a compliment chain of your very own.

What do you say? Are you on board with me?

If you received one of my notes today, please leave a comment (down below). You can tell us what your compliment said or keep it to yourself. Just let us know this little project of ours is working, okay? Thanks! (See? One more smile!)

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About Deb

Mom, freelance line editor, writer, and mom. Did I mention mom?
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24 Responses to Week Two–2,450 Compliments

  1. Erinn L says:

    I want a pad of sticky notes!

  2. deeje says:

    Deb, I have a post ready to go that mentions your project as well. I’m having issues getting photos to upload today for some reason, but as soon as I can get them in you’ll have another plug. Anything to spread the word.

    What an absolutely wonderful project! I can’t imagine a better way to teach those important life lessons to the next generation. I’ll be an avid follower, and hope I’ll be lucky to come across another week’s project soon!

  3. snowflake says:

    Saw your article in the paper today- that’s a wonderful idea! I might start one at my school.

    • Deb says:

      I love the idea of having them in school. The current week’s project–the Post Its–would be really cool in school, too. Have fun! 🙂

  4. Susie says:

    Love this. I saw something similar in a magazine or blog…can’t remember, it was few years ago and thought it would be a great thing to do with my daughter…once she got older. I wonder if 3 is too young to get it.

    • Deb says:

      Mine are four and not-quite two. I don’t know if they really “get” it, but they sure had a lot of fun with it. My argument for starting on things now is that it builds a sense of community service and giving into their lives from the very start. Your daughter will certainly love the beauty of the tree, and you can always do it again in a few years when she’s older for more impact! 🙂

  5. Sue says:

    This project is fabulous! I have signed-up to get e-mail notifications. I can’t wait to see what you come up with next.

  6. Donna says:

    Love this! Love you for doing it! Millions of smiles to you already!

  7. Donna says:

    As the sun is rising in Northern Wisconsin, I read about your project in my neighborhood, Linden Hills. Thank you, it is amazing how one small idea can grow.

  8. Anne says:

    I loved the story (and pictures) in the Strib. My family lives nearby and we’d love to be involved as well.

    • Deb says:

      I’m going to have to quickly figure out how to set up a way to get the community involved! Anne, if you’re on Facebook, search for the Hokey Pokey Project page and “like” us. I think we’ll probably start having conversations there about how people can help.

  9. Rebecca McMahon says:

    Thank You! I read the article in the paper and it warmed my heart! My mother had a favorite quote, it was always on the wall in her home. (it is now on my wall in my home) “Practice random acts of kindness and senseless beauty!” I always loved it and it meant a lot to her and does now to me and my family. I try to teach my children kindness and show examples of it in our lives. You are an amazing example of that.
    So Thank You I look forward to more.

  10. lisa bruins says:

    Last March my girlfriends and I had a MNI weekend and one of our service projects we decided to do was to each write compliments and positive sayings on a stack of post it notes and stick them around various places in the Minneapolis area in hopes of spreading perpetual kindness. It was such a good feeling to make someone’s day… So I love this idea!

  11. Barbara Pratt says:

    I LOVE your project and would love to help and/or participate with my 21/2 year old granddaughter ——–so please do contact me whenever you need help

    I’ve done some conceptual silly projects—like planting flocks of flamingos on an island in Lake of the Isles with a videographer one night—–and then returning the next day to capture smiles and interviews. Thanks for your spirit of joy.

  12. Shannon says:

    I love this. I am just working to incorporate ideas like this and what I call RAA (Random Acts of Art) with my elementary art students. The world needs these experiences! Thanks for your inspiration!

    • Deb says:

      Shannon, if there’s every a way we can help, let us know, and if you come up with a particularly fun project, email me and share it! We’ll post it on the blog. 🙂

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