Arts

Vancouver Compliments

By Kenneth Chan | 7:53 pm PST, Sun December 16, 2012 | Speak Up

In this dark, dreary and cold Vancouver weather, what if you could be the ray of sunshine in someone’s day? Vancouver Compliments is your platform for spreading love and happiness! Simply Facebook Inbox “Message” Vancouver Compliments with something nice you have to say about a Vancouverite but don’t feel comfortable saying it to their face. Your message will be posted anonymously on the page for you!

A simple compliment and words of kindness can make anyone’s day much better. It could also inspire them and give them the boost of confidence they need for whatever challenges they may be going through. The creation of Vancouver Compliments was an inspiration of UBC Compliments, which itself is a highly successful and inspirational replication of similar social experiments done at several other universities, including Queen’s University, Columbia University, and Yale University.

The creators of Vancouver Compliments are attempting to try it on a larger, city-wide level for all of Metro Vancouver. The Vancouver page is designed for comments made by Vancouverites about the people in their lives, whether it be family, love interest, friends, a colleague, etc. It could also be as simple as a thank you note for the person who picked up your wallet and handed it back to you immediately after seeing it drop or even the guy working at the store who always gives you the biggest smile whenever you walk in.

POST YOUR VANCOUVER COMPLIMENTS: http://www.facebook.com/VanCity.Compliments

As detailed below, the “Compliments” phenomenon began at Queen’s University (excerpt from the Good News Guardian):

The pioneer of this great idea is Rachel Albi of Queens University in Ontario. She setup the Queens U Compliments page which was quickly flooded by heart warming compliments. The idea came to her as a solution to cyber-bullying and as a way to bring happiness to the campus.

She compares the page to the great movie “Pay It Forward” about a movement of helping others to spread good will throughout the world.

An example of this great idea in action is this well liked anonymous compliment which was sent in to Queens U Compliments yesterday. It was directed to a woman named Anna O’Brien:

“..you are one of the most wonderful people I have met during my time at queen’s. You’re smile always makes my day brighter. You are always so positive and a true joy to be around. I am sure that if for no other reason I ended up at Queen’s so you could brighten up my life! I know everyone will miss you so much when you go off to the Netherlands next semester but boy are they lucky to have you. On behalf of everyone who knows you, thank you for being your fantastic self”

Anna’s reply shows that the project is working – that the page is bringing more love and light to the Internet and to the campus as well. Anna replied, “this was the loveliest to receive, kept me smiling all day.”

Another similar project is the Columbia Universities own Columbia Compliments Facebook page. One stand out anonymous compliment follows:

Tareq Abuissa: You are one of the kindest, most genuine people I know. You always brighten my day (literally, every day), and have brought so much joy to my time here. I can always count on your support, and am constantly blown away by your talent, creativity, quirkiness, passion, and maturity. I can’t wait to see what you continue to do with your life, and I know it will be amazing!”

Glenn Stutzky, a social instructor at Michigan State University told the Detroit Free Press that these compliment pages could have a“..contagious effect in a positive sense.”

This contagious effect is a bright antidote to the foul legions of anonymous trolls online that wreck, deceive and cyber-bully others. Glenn Stutzky tells the Free Press“There is so much negativity today, whether you see it on TV or in movies or even in just personal relationships. This is like a breath of fresh air.”

Written by Kenneth Chan, a Columnist at Vancity Buzz. Follow me on Twitter: @kjmagine

Featured image credit: Spacing Vancouver

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