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The Business of Complimenting

Yesterday, Monday the 30th of April, was Queen’s Day in the Netherlands… A national holiday and all-country celebration of the Queen’s birthday.

The best description of Queen’s Day I can convey is to imagine…

a 24-hour: home team victory celebration + an ALL street, street fair + an all country yard sale + boat parade + drinking

There are parties in the streets, bars, food vendors, bands and music playing… and we all wear orange!

Additionally, it is a day when citizens may sell items without paying taxes. What’s that expression? One person’s junk is another’s treasures?… Young and old drag their stuff to the curb and sell… treasures.

Finally… and the purpose of this post… enterprising Dutch kids, offer entertainment and games in exchange for a few cents or a Euro.

We saw a young woman playing the accordion like an expert. Drum players. Break-dancers. Several willing to be pelted with eggs for a buck a chuck. Several games of skill…

However, the most creative and uplifting of all were these two, cute girls offering personal compliments for 20-cents each.

Posing Here’s how it worked.

Pay a 20-cent piece… then they would thoughtfully take a look at you… together they formed the compliment… finally, you received your pronouncement…

Pondering“You have pretty hair!” was Shannon’s (she does).
“You are wearing a nice bracelet!” was Marijn’s (she was).
“You are wearing a nice hat!” was mine (it was).

What a positive thing to do. They provided smiles to all who stopped. And 20-cents is quite a low barrier to entry!

What a lesson for all of us, huh? Instead of looking for ways to make fun of others… look for the compliment. Sure, when we find someone interesting or attractive – we’re ready to compliment – but to judge a perfect stranger with compliments… how empowering.

I’m pretty sure that these young ladies aren’t getting too philosophical about what they were doing on this Queen’s Day, but I predict that this activity will have an everlasting impact on how they think about life, and view other people.

“You are a valued reader!”

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