Many years ago, I paid a random compliment to a sales clerk. I think it was her earrings that caught my attention. I watched her whole face transform. She thanked me and helped me (and the next customers) with enthusiasm. I realized that the smallest compliment had the power to change someone’s mood, perhaps someone’s day.  From then on, I’ve made an effort to be kind and pay compliments.

My story, “All the Beautiful People” was inspired by my people watching. People are always so concerned, worried, picking at themselves. It occurred to me that rarely do people see their own beauty – and that everyone is beautiful.  I’m not talking about physical beauty – I’m talking about that which goes beyond the physical.

A student experimented with her video camera and her compliments. The results are pretty amazing.

Student Video Captures People’s Faces when They Were Told They Were Beautiful

Student Video Captures People’s Faces when They Were Told They Were Beautiful


Sometimes, people don’t hear these very important words.

Language, compliments, can change someone’s mood, change their day. Maybe, it has the power to change a life.

Be positive. Be kind. Be generous with compliments.

Published by

Noreen Lace

Originally from the Midwest, Noreen Lace received an MFA from California State University where she now teaches. She believes in the beauty of language to express the darkness in life. She is the author of two novellas, West End and Life of Clouds, as well as a book of short stories. Here in the Silence. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in national as well as international journals, including The Chicago Tribune's Printers Row Journal, The Oleander Review, Vine Leaves Press (Australia), Silver Stream Journal (Ireland), Pilcrow and Dagger, Fishfood, and others. "Memorial Day Death Watch," a memoir of her father's passing, placed as a finalist in Writer Advice, while her poem, "All at Once," was published as a finalist in Medusa's Laugh Contest issue. More work is always in progress.

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