Compliments Come in Many Shapes

Jan 14th, 2009 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Compliments come in so many shapes. For some reason they seem to come less and less frequently as one ages. My first major assignment out of seminary was in a county seat town in western Nebraska. It was 1964. I was 26 years old, married, but without children.

Time in western Nebraska was brief. The assignment lasted two years and from there I would go to Omaha for a tenure of nineteen years. My career ended after three additional assignments in Arizona. So it has been 44 years since our departure from that first assignment in Nebraska.

At Christmas in 2007 I had a Christmas card from one of the young women who had been in the youth group in that small town in Nebraska so long ago. She and a cadre of friends were preparing, in May of 2009, for a reunion of their class. Christmas, 2008, brought another greeting, this time with a nudge for my wife Sharon, and me to plan to participate in the event. However, of those whom we knew then and would be present, none would have any knowledge of our plans to be there.

Of course we are planning to be there. Of course it will test memory, but it will be a celebration of unequalled proportions.

That is the compliment. To be remembered, by persons who were adolescents, who helped shape me and, I presume, I them after all these years is a supreme compliment. Just imagine getting reminders from dear people who were a part of your life, in your own early development, who identified something useful and valuable about that acquaintance, that relationship so many years later.

There are few treasures we experience as senior citizens, which give us quite as much joy and satisfaction as to be remembered by someone from our past. It takes time to extend compliments. It takes energy to look up someone you just want to touch base with. And, who knows, that person may no longer remember you. Compliments are part of life’s enrichments. They help us appreciate that whatever small difference we may have made, it may have made a large difference in someone’s life. Compliments to those of us who are now older work the same way. It may seem small to the giver, to the recipient it looms large as an enormous moment to be cherished forever.



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