I wish I could remember where I heard this advice, but as tends to happen more often than not, the source has slipped my mind. But here it is: You know the old adage of "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all"? I've picked up the habit of putting a bit of a spin on that, and thinking "If you have something nice to say, say it."
Life is pretty tough on all of us from time to time. Pretty much everyone is dealing with something, and it's surprising how far a few kind words can go, even if they're about something small.
When terrible or crazy things happen in the world, like what went down in Boston this afternoon, most of us start thinking about the people we care about and how easily they can be lost. As someone who has been through a lot of loss in my life (especially in the past few years), I've learned to tell people what I'm thinking right now. I'm sure it comes across awkwardly sometimes, but it's worth it. Reminding people how important they are to you (or just filling them in on that fact) is the big one, but I will also tell you that you look smoking hot in that new dress, that I love that thing you wrote, that I heard a song on the radio that reminded me of you. In general, you're never going to regret showing kindness to someone, but you may eventually regret not telling them those things when you had the chance.
Beyond showing the love to your actual circle of friends, you can step it up a bit by noticing people around you. Everyone wants to feel important. I will often comment on the grocery store cashier's earrings or the fact that the guy who just made my latte is my hero. (Note: If you live in a big city where people are less chatty, you will often get looked at like you're crazy for doing this. Do it anyway.)
I'm challenging you, blog friends, to go say something nice. Let someone know you appreciate them. Tell the lady in front of you in line that her boots are rad. Big or small, just do it. Report back here if you want.