10-2009: The Compliment Guys

They’ve taught me to make eye contact, smile, be kind to others and show I care. They make me want to be a better person.”

The Compliment Guys

by Lyndelle Brower Chiomenti

Brett Westcott and Cameron Brown are both 20–year–old college students at Purdue Univeristy in West Lafayette, Indiana, U.S.A. Every Wednesday afternoon, regardless of the weather, they stand together for two hours in front of the chemistry building and do something fun and a bit unusual. They call out compliments to people passing by.

Westcott came up with the idea last year. “I just wanted to go out and do something nice for people,” he said. A few weeks later, Brown asked if he could join him, and as “they” say, the rest is history.

“Love your smile!” Brown calls to a passing student.

“Nice bicycle!” Westcott calls to another student.

“Like your tie!” one of them might call to a passing professor.

Brown states that everbody “ has something to compliment. Everybody has something good in them. It just takes a second to find it.

Professor Paul Shepson compliments Brown and Wescott by saying that their compliments are never crude. He also says, “The world would be a better place if people routinely took the time to notice others around them and interact in a postive way. They’ve taught me to make eye contact, smile, be kind to others and show I care. They make me want to be a better person.”

Perhaps you don’t want to stand on a corner in the rain for two hours to give people compliments. However, you could make it a habit as you stand in the cafeteria line or as you walk from class to class. And wouldn’t dorm life be a lot nicer if the residents shared thoughtful compliments with each other a few times a day?

Why not try it for a day, a week, a month? See what a difference it can make in your life and in the lives of others. It’s a fun, inexpensive way to do something nice for your part of the world!

____________

Material for this article came from American Profile, September 6–12, 2009, pp. 4, 6. To see the Compliment Guys at work, go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=QShPNcjgtfs.