Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Hey! You look really nice today!

And those are great shoes. Really.

How hard is it for you to take a compliment? How about to give one?

Two students at Purdue University in Lafayette, Indiana are attempting to answer both those questions.

From a recent article in American Profile Magazine:

Dubbed "the compliment guys", Brett Wescott and Cameron Brown, both 20, station themselves for two hours each Wednesday afternoon in front of Purdue's Wetherhill chemistry building and, with rapid-fire repartee, shout compliments to passersby along a bustling sidewalk in the heart of campus.

"Hey, your beard is coming in nicely," shouts Brett, holding a "Free Compliments" sign.

"I just wanted to go out and do something nice for people," explains Westcott, a civil engineering student from Plainfield, IL, who came up with the idea last year at the beginning of his sophomore year. Holding a homemade poster, he handed out the first compliments one Wednesday during a long break between classes.

Within a few weeks, Brown, whom Westcott had met during their freshman year, joined him in the midweek ritual. "I'd noticed a lot of people were down and sad around campus with the economy so down," recalls Brown, a business management major from Sylvania, Ohio. "A lot of my friends were graduating without jobs, so I wanted to go out there and give them something to smile about."

"I like your curly hair," Brown tells a sandy-haired woman.

"Nice tennis shoes," Westcott shouts to a jogger.

"Giving a compliment is pretty easy, really," Brown explains. "Everybody has something to compliment. Everybody has something good in them. It just takes a second to find it."

Student Amanda Beering heard about the guys during her freshman year, and now makes it a point to walk by the chemistry building on Wednesday afternoons - just to see what Westcott and Brown will say. "They're the best part of my Wednesday," says Beering.

Chemistry department chair Paul Shepson praises Brown and Westcott for not only affirming people, but for teaching a life lesson to students, staff and faculty alike. "The world would be a better place if people routinely took the time to notice others around them and interact in a positive way. They've taught me to make eye contact, smile, be kind to others and show I care."

So as you head out - head down - into this wintry wonderland today, take a minute to look someone in the eye and say something nice. It's just that easy.

To see the compliment guys in action, click HERE.

Oh, and by the way, I love your shirt.

1 comment:

  1. I saw these guys on some news show. Isn't it great?

    I used to work at OSF and had a little clip board that I would mark each time I gave someone a compliment. My goal everyday was 10. I met a lot of friends there.


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