I love people who love people. This might come off as a silly or sentimental or sickly sweet slushy thing to say, but it’s the truth: I love people who love people.
Just as there are parks scattered throughout every city — at least I hope there are (to be honest, I’ve only visited one city: my own, which has parks scattered throughout it; so I assume that this is the case for all dimensions) — I say, just as there are parks scattered throughout every city of the multiverse, there should also be areas set aside and designated for compliment-giving. What I mean is this:
If you walk to and fro in your hometown, and travel up and down in it, you will doubtlessly meet many strangers and passersby; and one of the unwritten rules of politeness is that you should respect any unfamiliar person’s privacy, which is to say: limit your interaction with them to waving or smiling in a tactful way, but don’t get too personal. Now I understand the rightness of this rule, for oftentimes a pedestrian will simply want to continue on their walk and not be bothered. (Maybe they have to get back to work in a moment.) But I also think it would be nice if there existed, as I said above, areas of one’s community that were set aside for the exchanging of genuine compliments: so, if you go to one of these places, everyone there will understand that everyone else is in attendance for the purpose of friendliness, conversation, kind words, etc.; despite the fact that we are all perfect strangers.
But I’m not talking about a bar or a pub, where the covert purpose is dating, or complaining about one’s life to one’s server, or watching sports on a muted TV. I’m talking about being able to meet and talk with random new people while knowing that it’s safe and welcome—even encouraged—for you to express to them the things that you like about them. No strings attached; no ulterior motive. Like a one-night stand, except in the midafternoon, and wholly nonsexual.
This idea struck me after noticing that, when out on walks, I admire many things about each passerby, but I don’t want to embarrass or affront them by telling them specifically: “You look so noble but also compassionate,” or “Your gaze is magnetically dark: I’ve never seen anything more captivating,” or “Your hair is full-bodied, bouncy, glossy, beauteous.” (These examples focus on physical traits because, at first, one knows nothing more about a soul than its exterior; but, as the assessment progresses, one’s praise will begin to outpour for the superior side of every human form: the voice, the way one’s mind works: one’s inward aspects.)
But the recipient of admiration should know that the opposite party is not looking for “romance” or any kind of relationship (beyond that which is common between all citizens). The strength of one’s acclaim rests in the idea that nothing is expected in return.
…let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth…
This “compliment park”—or whatever you want to call it—would be a place to go to brighten your mood. For there are merits, charms, and appeals that each of us display every day of our life, but which we forget, and which would be good to be reminded of.
I hope this idea isn’t too cheesy. I really do wish that people could know their true worth: I’d wager it is much higher than their own self-appraisal. Even the vainest individuals underrate themselves.