The Beautiful Experiment

January 23rd, 2014 by Marcy Schwab

The Beautiful Experiment

On Facebook this week, I followed the lead of a gifted writer and old friend, Jordana Horn Gordon. Like Jordana, I posted the following as my status:

“Like this post and I will write something beautiful about you.”

I can’t decide if it was surprising that I only got 30-some likes (out of over 800 “friends”) or surprising that I got as many as 30+ likes. I know it’s hard to ask for a compliment, but as I got rolling through the day, it should have been plain to see that my “beautiful sentiments” were truly heartfelt feelings and observations directed at people who I truly appreciate.

I received lovely replies both public and private thanking me for my thoughtful and insightful words. Some replied in kind. And better still, others even said that I made their day or year (already, it’s only January!). Why wait until someone is sick or dead to say the kinds of things you might say in a eulogy? Wouldn’t it be a gift to tell people you care about the impact they have on you and what you see as beautiful in them? We spend so much of our time complaining and so little of our time appreciating.

There has been a lot of press about the value of gratitude and its impacts on people, those who receive the gratitude as well as those who give it. I found it to be so basically human to say nice things about people. In fact, my follow up post was simply this:

“I spent the better part of my day writing beautiful things about people. I believe it was more beautiful for me than it was for them. Someone asked me how I wrote such insightful and nice things about my friends so quickly. The truth is that it’s easy to find the beauty in everyone, if you just look.”

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