Praise it Forward


By: Suzanne Reisler Litwin

They say Canadians are very polite people. We say a lot of “please” and “thank you’s”. As  people, we are not very bossy, noisy, or arrogant. We are a peaceful kind of bunch.

I suppose living in the “Great White North” is humbling and makes us appreciate very simple pleasures like having warm weather.  I’m certain not every Canadian is like this. However, as a people we are known to be kind and polite.  So much so that we have been made fun of on shows like Saturday Night Live and other USA based comedies.  “Ya know, us Canadian are real nice, eh?”

I would suggest taking this type of kindness one step further. Actually, try to make a difference in Rhonda Massad, West Island Blog, keeping it real, Suzanne Reisler Litwinsomeone else’s day. Consider giving some “Praise” today.

Years ago I was standing in line in a bank. The line was very long and it wasn’t moving at all. What I needed to do required a teller. So, I waited in my winter coat and got very warm. I took it off and held it. Then my feet got really warm and sweat started forming along my brow. I was starting to get overheated and a tad impatient.

A teller that I usually visit had just returned from lunch. She came towards the line and invited me along with another woman to come to her private desk. We were the last two people in the long line.

She asked us how she could help. Within 10 minutes I was outside with my coat on and cooling off my sweaty feet.

I truly appreciated the special service she provided that day. I am a long standing (literally) customer of this branch.

That night I wrote an email to the branch manager. I wrote about the teller’s professional kindness and how she went out of her way to help us.

Weeks had passed since that email. For another banking reason, I was back in the branch. The same lovely girl came up to me and invited me to her desk. This time she was beaming. She told me the bank offered her a promotion!  She was also given a “Family Night-Out Prize”.  This prize included a free dinner and movie for four and 2 extra vacation days.  She was ecstatic. She was also promoted to second level teller service.

I suppose this wasn’t all my doing. I’m sure I was just the next drop of water that cascaded her professional success into wonderful waterfalls.

Now, when I go into this branch, I’m always treated with VIP service.  I suppose, taking the time to praise others is like paying it forward. It starts the chain of forward giving events.  Sometimes more forward than you will ever know.

Making the difference in other people’s lives will empower people and make you feel wonderful too.

Praise goes a long way! One little step of praise today will make a better tomorrow.

New Things to Try:

  1. The next time someone does something well, simply praise them for their efforts.  If the person in the grocery store packed your groceries well, compliment their efforts.

2.  If someone did something super well, tell their employer. Take the time to speak to the manager, owner or boss.

  1. Pay a compliment to a family member, friend or even to a stranger.  Say statements like, “I think you are so good at that. You have a beautiful smile. You are doing a great job.”

  2. Say, “Good Job!” This type of praise will always make someone feel good. Say it often with confidence.

  3. The more praise you give, the more praise will be given to others. Praise it forward and make that wonderful difference!

    Suzanne Reisler Litwin is an author/writer/columnist/educator. She contributes every Monday morning to the West Island Blog’s Keeping it Real Column. 

    She is an instructor at Concordia University in The Centre for Continuing Education. Suzanne is a freelance contributor to The Suburban newspaper.   She is the author of the children’s book, The Black Velvet Jacket. She lives in Montreal, Canada with her 3 children, Allyn, Taylor, and Duke and her husband Laurie. Suzanne contributes regularly to West Island Blog under her column Keeping it Real.  Please visit her website  to read more of her published articles, books, and poetry.


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