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Monday, July 20, 2009

Take a walk on the Bright Side

Two students from Purdue University, Cameron Brown of Sylvania, Ohio and his friend Brett Westcott of Chicago, believe in making people happy. Their way of doing that is to compliment individuals passing by the chemistry building on Purdue's West Lafayette, Indiana campus. It drew the attention of producers on ABC's Good Morning America who did a feature story on them. They also have a video on YouTube that has been viewed more than 40,000 times.



This summer Cameron and Brett are on a 10-city tour being sponsored by Kodak and being kicked off in New Orleans, a city that could use a few compliments and smiles. Kodak's Leslie Dance, vice-president of worldwide brand marketing and communications, said the summer partnership is a perfect fit. "We believe it's time to smile, and these guys are obviously out there to make people do that," she said.

Brett Westcott, who came up with the idea, said, "I am just ecstatic that this little idea I had, that this random act of kindness, has blown up into such a big thing. I'm having kids who are messaging me online asking me if they can start free compliments at their school."

You can follow their progress on their blog, BrightSideTour, as they continue their adventure through Birmingham, Ala.; Atlanta, Ga.; Charleston, S.C.; Charlotte, N.C.; Washington, D.C.; Baltimore, Md.; Philadelphia, Pa.; New York City; and the tour ends in Rochester, N.Y.

We could all take a lesson from Brett and Cameron, so if they're passing through your town, shout out something nice to them. Or you could leave them a nice compliment on their blog.

26 comments:

Sandy Nawrot said...

Well, my parents will be proud that they came from Purdue, just about twenty minutes from where they live. Aren't Midwesterners the nicest people?

Susan said...

We sure are, Sandy! And I include you in that statement, because you can take the girl out of the Midwest, but you can't take the Midwest out of the girl!

Cindy said...

They're like refreshing versions of the construction workers who whistle at girls. Made me smile! Maybe this will catch on as a new trend... let's hope so! Thanks for sharing this!

By the way, you have an awesome smile! I love your dimple! I hope you have a fantastic day!!

Susan said...

Cindy, you are so sweet! You have a fantastic smile, too. Every time I see it, you seem to be smiling at something funny that only you know about. You're Portland's answer to the Mona Lisa, only smilier! And prettier, too.

Tipper said...

Such a simple idea-but so moving and wonderful!

Tattered and Lost said...

It's amazing how a random compliment can change someone's moment. I often find myself giving clerks in stores compliments in order to snap them out of the drone mode they're in. They generally quickly bond with you for that moment you're with them and you hope perhaps they're temperament has changed enough for the next customer.

Ruth said...

I saw this a while back on our news too. Remarkable what a little positive reinforcement does for anyone.

ds said...

What a lovely thing to do. Thanks for sharing this--Brett, Cameron, and you have brightened my day!!

VioletSky said...

What a great idea - I bet they never thought it would take them so far!

It reminds me of when I was in high school and a couple of us decided to try to engage the other bus passengers in pleasantries. It was almost always standing room only by the time we got on, and we were sure those poor folks wished they'd waited for a later bus to avoid us. Heck, some days we even wished to avoid some of us. As I recall it was a tough slog, but fun.

Susan said...

Tipper, sometimes it's the simple things that are most effective. And it doesn't cost a thing!

Susan said...

Tattered, I do the same thing with clerks, especially if they just had a hard time with the previous customer. We all need to be seen as human and sometimes I think they feel people see them as part of the store equipment.

Susan said...

Ruthie, we all need to feel good about ourselves. I often find myself engaged in conversation with elderly people in stores. Sometimes they seem so lonely and one never knows if that might be their only human contact that day.

Susan said...

ds, thank you for sharing with us! I saw it in our newspaper this morning and it immediately made my day a little brighter.

Susan said...

Sanna, I'm sure you made a lot more people happy than not. And some people just don't want to be cheered up, but I bet they were and they didn't want to show it. You did a good thing!

Char said...

I can remember kids walking through the mall with signs saying "free hugs" and it always made me smile. I wish that more young people would be this unselfish.

Susan said...

Char, you can just tell by looking at those boys that they're really enjoying it. I think a lot of young people are unselfish, but it doesn't get publicized this way, and they're probably okay with that.

VaNeSsA said...

Those guys are too cute! What a great idea. I am now thinking of sending my daughter to Purdue. OK, I only have 16 more years to decide, but this is definately a point for them!! :)

Susan said...

Vanessa, if most of the students there are as friendly and nice as these two, then she should get along great. And also feel very good about herself!

CottageGirl said...

I love that!!!!!
In this day and age of bad news and, well, more bad news it is great to see these young guys trying to make a difference! It is inspiring!


Hey Susan!
I love your blog! And the that header of yours is so sunny and friendly!!!

Oliag said...

I've seen the video of these two boys before...they really are an inspiration to be much more random with compliments as I go along my day...it made me feel better just to watch the videos on their blog and they weren't even complimenting me!....as a grouchy New England curmudgeon however, I do wonder how Kodak is profiting from this:)

Love this post! It cheered me up on another rainy day...as do the beautiful sunflowers in your header!

Susan said...

Hey CG, I love your blog, too! And that cottage of yours is to die for!!!

I love bringing sunshine into your life!

Susan said...

Oliag, the Kodak thing crossed my mind, too, and obviously they wouldn't do this if it wasn't getting them some good press, but that's okay, too.

Thank you for your sweet compliment! I actually felt you shout it out! :)

Alaine said...

At last I got your comment box up!

These lovely kids trying to make a difference; should be more of it. We have a couple of shops here in Victoria who refuse to serve anyone who doesn't say 'Please'.

The World keeps turning; I hope it's turning towards the better!

I'd like to leave this planet knowing that we have peace everywhere.

Susan said...

Alaine, nice to see you! I agree with your shopkeepers. A smile and "please" and "thank you" doesn't cost a dime. I'm glad someone is taking a stand.

Peace would be wonderful!

California Girl said...

Great story! I had not heard about it. You are correct, we could all learn a lesson.

Peace to you.

Susan said...

Peace be with you, too, Cali Girl. May we all have peace in our lives.