January 19, 2011

Wake Up Wednesday

Before I tell you about this week's challenge I want to report back to you on how last week went.  Rex and I both tried to give more compliments to strangers.  This was great for both of us.  It's funny how things end up differently than you expect sometimes.  I didn't have any earth-shattering experiences where someone broke into tears or seemed really touched, but there was one thing I really noticed personally. 

The change was more of a change within me.  Why?  Instead of just looking for my groceries I was looking for the good in others.  I was a little excited when I remembered the challenge and I felt this overwhelming optimism inside.  Instead of feeling frustrated that the lines weren't moving quickly, I was noticing things I liked about the people around me.  It was actually quite refreshing.

This whole Wake Up Wednesday thing has already been a big source of upliftment for me this year.  I heard a quote (that is attributed to Mother Teresa) that I wanted to share with you.  It's kind of been my goal for the year.

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.

Isn't that beautiful?  I puts to shame all my reasons for holding back and keeping to myself.

Alright, on to this week's challenge.  It shouldn't take more than 5-10 minutes.  Write a letter to someone you truly admire and tell them exactly why.  This will probably be someone you know fairly well.  Maybe you admire how someone has dealt with a tragedy.  Maybe you've looked up to someone as an example throughout your life.  Maybe it's someone that you figure probably already knows you appreciate them.  Tell them anyway.


Now it's the fun part.  Let's hear how your complimenting strangers went this week.  I can't wait to read all about it.  Thanks for dropping by!


  1. Oh man...
    That is a BEAUTIFUL passage.
    and so so sooo true.


  2. That is beautiful. Thanks for sharing with us.


  3. I just started reading your blog and I love it! You have so many great ideas and things to say. I look forward to getting up each day and seeing what new post you've put up. Thanks!!

  4. Anonymous19.1.11

    Unfortunately, I didn't leave my house all week (seriously...how sad is that) so I never got a chance to compliment a stranger. :( I was looking forward to it too. Hopefully I can complete this week's challenge though...you don't need to leave the house to write a letter. :)

  5. As usual, I was a slacker, but when I got in line at the grocery store I remembered I needed to compliment at least one person. So I decided I would compliment the check-out clerk. It took me awhile to get up my nerve to do it, but then I found the perfect opportunity. She had accidently knocked over a package of meat to go back to the meat department and made some sort of frustrated noise. So I said, "One of those days, hunh?" And she said, "Like you wouldn't believe." Or something like that. And then I said, "Well at least your hair looks good and you look nice." And some other stuff, and she laughed and smiled and seemed to be a lot happier after that. I was glad to help her day be a little brighter. It was something so simple for me. Why don't we compliment strangers more often?

  6. I love Wake Up Wednesdays, they are amazing!

    I had a similar experience this week with giving compliments to strangers. Nobody seemed especially moved, but just me making the effort to look for good things in others was a really enlightening experience. It's so easy to judge people or just simply overlook them in life, but they are all just people too, living their lives. Why should we think that we or they are more or less of anything? Any exercise in appreciating one another a little more is always a good idea.

    So thank you!

  7. I totally flaked on last weeks challenge, however this weeks I can do!

    I've been meaning to write my Grandma a letter explaining just how important she is to me and this is the perfect opportunity.

    Thank you for Wake Up Wednesday, I wasn't sure at first, but I'm beginning to loooove it!

  8. Beautiful quote (and post). Thanks for sharing these experiences and challenging us all to be better! I might just have to make that quote into a printable using your picnik tutorial yesterday!!! Awesome tutorial, by the way (thank you! I already have a post in the works giving you a huge shout-out for it!).

    I loved looking for things to compliment this week. EVERYONE has so many good things. Someone in my ward told us a quote that said, "There is so much good in the worst of us,
    And so much bad in the best of us,
    That it hardly behooves any of us
    To talk about the rest of us." So way to get us focused on the great things in people!

    I love the letter idea. People should write more letters:).

  9. Cheri, I loooove that quote! I totally would hang that up in my home! Would you consider making a printable of it? I'd attempt it myself, but I bet you'd make a better one, haha. Just throwing the idea out there! =).

    I need to cover the compliments this week as I missed it last week. I love these Wake Up Wednesdays. Thank you for inspiring us to get out there and do good for others. It's so easy to be selfish (such a horrible truth, but a truth at that)... I love this little push towards being more compassionate and caring towards others!

  10. In the Dr. Office this week I was checking in with the receptionist and like you, I noticed things about her. She had B&BW lotion close by on her desk and she had a pastry on a paper plate waiting for her to eat when she had a minute... Two things that I LOVE. I thought to myself that we would probably get along as friends really well. She had some colorful sparkly earings that were very bright and happy (that I genuinly liked), and I told her so. :)

  11. I'm loving the Wake Up Wednesday challenges!!!
    Since I naturally compliment strangers (my husband has asked more than once, "Do you really have to make friends with the people in the check-out line?"), I did this weeks challenge a little differently... I turned some papers in to the accounting department, but forgot to copy them first. When I realized this mistake, I winced because I knew that the person that had them now wasn't very friendly. I went to her office and told her what happened and asked if I could borrow them to make copies. She agreed but said that she had already stapled some, I assured her that I would unstaple, copy, and staple them back. When I tried to unstaple them, I couldn't get the staple remover to catch on the staples because they were in there too well. When I returned the papers to her I very cheerfully said, "Man, You have an awesome stapler!" She looked up at me then laughed the first real laugh that I've ever heard her laugh.

  12. I enjoy complimenting strangers. It seems to lighten the mood for any situation. I complimented a few people and it just made me feel better. The Mister always looks at me like I'm a nut case-- but it's still worth it.

    Thanks for the challenge. You know it's the small things that change the world.

  13. I have an experience from the opposite side. I can remember going grocery shopping with my 4 little kids then ages 3 and under. I always get so many looks and questions if they are all mine. One day when I was feeling a little tired and my 2 year old was having a meltdown and the baby was crying and lots were starring a sweet lady came up to me and told me she thought my kids were beautiful that I handled them so well and that to enjoy it because it goes so fast. She didn't help calm the baby or the others but her kind words still ring when I go to the store with my children that are now ages 2-5. It was a couple of years ago but it still gets me through a long grocery trip. I am so thankful that she took the time to speak those kind words to me. Compliments really do effect people!

  14. I have an experience from the opposite side. I can remember going grocery shopping with my 4 little kids then ages 3 and under. I always get so many looks and questions if they are all mine. One day when I was feeling a little tired and my 2 year old was having a meltdown and the baby was crying and lots were starring a sweet lady came up to me and told me she thought my kids were beautiful that I handled them so well and that to enjoy it because it goes so fast. She didn't help calm the baby or the others but her kind words still ring when I go to the store with my children that are now ages 2-5. It was a couple of years ago but it still gets me through a long grocery trip. I am so thankful that she took the time to speak those kind words to me. Compliments really do effect people!

  15. The quote brought me to tears...I need to print this out and put it in my bathroom to see each morning. Sometimes I get so frustrated and actually let others get to me and bring me down, doubt myself and my actions...this quote is just what I need. And I know some others who may need to read these words themselves and will pass it along. Thank you so much for sharing today (and always!)

  16. Thank you so much for posting this...I really needed to hear it!!

  17. Yes, thank you for the challenges. I got a chance to compliment people. Some seemed a little suprised. I don't think we compliment the everyday person enough. I know that because I also get a little suprised when I recieve one, since I am the average person. Love the quote, made me cry. Always have to remember it is all for GOD!!

  18. I also did not have anything huge happen when giving compliments but I did feel a lot better about myself and how you can touch others with just a few simple words. I am super excited about this weekss chanllenge. I am going to write to my mom, I think she will think something is really wrong with me because I am not a huge sappy sappy person but I hope that she knows everything i say is from the bottom of my heart! brooke

    Girl Boy Girl Inspired

  19. I love that quote! My new favorite!

    I teach third grade, and told them their task this week was to compliment each other. They were so cute! It was a little forced at first, but they loved it. :)


  20. What an amazing week! I had a great time doing the challenge! Funny how many of us complimented the nice check out lady at the grocery store!

    I also complimented the check out lady at the grocery store. She has been at the same grocery store for over 10 years and when I get in her line, I am always so very happy because she is always so nice and has a big smile. So, when I was in the the line this week and it was the same lady - I had to tell her! At first I was nervous - but I really wanted to tell her how I get excited when I get her as a checkout lady. I did it! And afterwards she thanked me and that I made her day. Nice!

    The other thing I did was write thank you letters (I jumped ahead I guess) to my friends who came over for a play date. I just wanted to let them know how much I appreciate them.

    And I think your blog is amazing and thanks for taking the time to help us make this world a great place!!

  21. That is a beautiful passage. I just came across your "challenges" and I love the idea. I always try to be kind to strangers because I think to myself...I don't know what is going on with them personally & if a smile from me and a few kind words can make their day, then why not? Plus I want to teach that to my children...to always be kind to others even if they're not so kind to you. :) Thank you for the inspiration!

  22. Amy, that was a great idea to do with the children. Last year I volunteered in my daughter's class, and when I told a little boy that I was so proud of him at one point. He looked at me dumbfounded, and whispered "no one's ever told me that before"

    Kid's need it from everyone, whether they are the expceptional students or the one's with all the the antisocial behaviors. They espechially need it in the grocery store, catch them being good even in their worst moments :)

  23. I noticed someone who I know, but don't really *know* who looked fabulous. As I was across the entire building, I didn't have the chance to approach her to compliment her, but I did however take the time to make a phone call. Her answering machine picked up and I chose to leave a message because I didn't know if I'd remember to call her back. I explained that I was simply calling to tell her how fabulous she looked that day and that her hair was **AMAZING** that day. That's it. The next day, while I was out and about, she called back and left a message with my husband that the message I left had been the best message she's ever received. Well, then a few days later, a friend mentioned to me how she had noticed this lady's hair on the same day. I explained how I had called to compliment her and she was amazed I would take the time to do so and vowed she too would do better at giving compliments. It's so wonderful to receive a sincere compliment, but even better to give them.

  24. I failed miserably, Cheri. I didn't mean to. You know I stay home with my baby boy..so, when I did venture out I totally forgot the challenge. I didn't venture out but maybe 2 times this week because I have been sick with a cold and so has my baby boy. Ugh! I feel like my family keeps passing this sickness all around to each other. I know I complained that hardly anyone had participated last week...then later the bloggers eventually showed up and gave their comments...and THEN I failed this week. So, hopefully we will all get better in this house and I can do last week's challenge along with this week's challenge. AND hopefully, I will not forget! :(

  25. Wow I am new to the wake up wednesday but I love the idea and I think for a start I'm going to take on last weeks and this weeks. The biggest thing for me will be to actually mail the letter. I love writing letters and making cards and I am the worst at sticking on the stamp and putting it in the mail slot. Thanks for the inspiration, If you don't mind I'm going to blog about my wake up wednesday experiences.
    Thanks again,


  26. What a delightful idea. I love your wake ip Wednesday challenges. I noticed a lady in church had very lovely ankles but that's such a bizarre thing to complement someone on and I don't really know her very well. I didnt say anything to her when I was sitting by her but I saw her again a bit later and said, "this may sound strange but you have the prettiest ankles." She laughed and said, that is so funny you should say that, I've been on a strict diet and this morning I told my husband it finally seemed to be working, even my ankles were getting smaller. Very funny. I'm glad I took time to tell her and thank you for inspiring me to do so.


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