September 17, 2004
September 17, 2004


Some of the most successful people are the most gracious. Some years ago, the poet Laureate, Maya Angelou was appearing at a Library on Long Island. She recounted an event where some thoughtless adult had told her that she was not pretty. That astounded me because the beauty of her soul was shinning forth on her face in the most glorious manner. It struck me that those cruel words were still troubling her a bit. I wanted to comfort her and waited after the entertaining description of her life to offer her an uplifting moment. I stood some twenty five feet from the crowd that surrounded her observing how worn she looked from maintaining her busy schedule of traveling and speaking.

When the last person had walked away and she approached where I was standing I said,”Your soul shines through and you are very beautiful. Don’t let anyone ever tell you otherwise.” Maya looked at me and smiled and with her distinctive drawl, she said,”My grandmother always used to say,’It takes one to know one’’”.

The deceased TV’s Merry MailMan, Ray Heatherton would always counter a compliment with one of his own. I observed his graciousness after the completion of the Ray Heatherton’s Breakfast Club live radio show when a compliment would be directed towards him by a fan member, a performer, or show guest. I had the opportunity to be in in his company once a month for two and one half years so that I was impressed with the continuity of his pleasant, agreeable nature off stage as well as onstage. I thought to myself, “These people have so much to teach us. No wonder they are so successful.”

So often couples will tell me it is not necessary to compliment (be grateful) to their partner because s/he is doing what is expected of them. How would you like to go to work and have the paymaster state that your salary is not necessary because you are doing what is expected of you? Our pay check is a form of gratitude by our employer.

Don’t we want that? How long would we work if we did not get it? Now apply this same logic to your life. We all need to be reminded that what we accomplish is noticed. Look around. Is your spouse attending work conscientiously? Does your mate see to it that food is on the table, and the house is clean, the children loved and watched over? Does your mate take care of the car, the house repairs, the extra overtime hours so that every one is comfortable? Does it exhaust you to say “Thank you for all that you do each day? Would it be so difficult to pick out one different duty each night and comment on how much that act of loving kindness means to you?

Love begets love. Hate begets hate. Which would you rather have? You decide and the outcome will be yours.