What is the greatest compliment you could give? Are you worthy of the same praise? (Lee Currie)
If you'd asked me this question a few years ago, my answer would have been completely different. But as my experiences have taught me, and as I have refined what I value in others, I believe the greatest compliment I can offer others is to describe them as kind, warm, open. I have been trying to come up with a word that describes those people you meet who you feel instantly connected to, who somehow are inviting and warm in ways that ask nothing of you but create such a good feeling in you that you want to stick around and tell them all your stories. I believe kindness is underestimated. It's a trait I have been trying to cultivate in my life, though I don't know that I'm particularly skilled at it, yet.
Part of the reason I have chosen "open" as my word for 2013, which I'll explain more fully in an upcoming post, is that I want to be described as one of those people that others feel connected to. I want to be open-hearted, kind, and warm. I want to take some of the tending I did this year and turn it more obviously outward. So while I don't think I am quite deserving of the compliment of kindness, yet. It's something I'm working on as well as how to be kind without being a doormat and saying yes to things that cause me headaches. It's not so much about balance, I think, as it is about understanding what it means to be kind not only to others but also to yourself.