Unexpected Compliment's

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When I look at the metrics for this website it doesn't really tell me much about what era of my life you've known me from.  Well, it doesn't really tell me if you know me at all.  Which is completely fine too.  If you didn't know, at one point in my life I sang for a Hardcore Punk band.  When I look back on the history of my life, this era of my life will be one of my favorites.  Only preceded currently by my marriage, the birth of my son, and the eventual birth of my second son.  

I was combing through some old photo's the other day.  Looking at this time in my life when I was grasping for a unique subculture lend me their ears.  I came across one of the most incredible pieces of compliment I'd received for playing music.  A young man, whom I hadn't met at the time sent us a letter to just vocalize his appreciation for what we were doing as a band.  The music we were making, and the message we were singing about.  

I remember being halfway taken back by the whole barrage of compliment's.  I remember thinking: "Well we haven't really done, or really said anything yet."   We were relatively young a band, and we hadn't really made headway into a scene which, I'm not completely convinced we even made a scratch on. Eventually as a band we were able to tour to some far off lands, and play to some people whom otherwise may have never heard us at all.  What came over this young man that he decided to reach out with such gall and offer us an unsolicited compliment?  I'm still not sure.  I can tell you with absolute certainty that to this day I haven't forgotten the note.  I haven't forgotten what this young man looks like.  He will forever be etched in my brain for the kindness and bravery he possessed to send our band this kind of compliment. 

So why not pay this kind of feeling forward?  There are times when I'm out in the world with my wife and she'll lean over and candidly say to me:
"I like that lady's bag, or look how cool her shoes are!"  
I'll tell reply "Go tell her that." 

Sometimes she does, sometimes she doesn't.  At this point life for me is about making a positive impact on people.  Sometimes i succeed, and yes, I definitely fail a lot.  However, I try and make it a point to effect someone in a way that leaves them thinking.
"Man that guy is awesome." or "That guy is crazy/weird/insane/nuts/funny/comfortable."

I'm too old for "cool" and too ambivalent about myself to say nothing. So why not put yourself out on a limb and afford someone a compliment you may not normally give?  You could have a lasting effect like the gentleman who sent me a letter that day.

John Jenkins

West Los Angeles, CA, United States