Rare compliments

“The world would be a better place with more people like you.”

Surprisingly, I have had this comment directed at me a few times. And I always find it surprising because I am much more accustomed to being sermoned about my shortcomings. But every now and then, someone connects with me without any effort required on my part — and they find something to like.

However, there are homilies such as: “it takes all kinds to make a world”; and, “it would be a dull world if we all were the same” — which is probably why that first statement is “more people like you” instead of “all people like you.” But it is an interesting exercise to contemplate what the world might look like if everyone were like me.

  • No personal cars on the road
  • More bus routes with buses running every few minutes
  • A coffee shop or pub (serving craft beers and ciders) on every corner
  • More libraries and used bookstores
  • Smaller grocery stores that only sell basic staples and fruit/veg in season

My guess is that most people would like more of the above in their world. However, if we extrapolate further, we could end up with a landscape that would be unrecognizable:

  • No sports fields, arenas or stadiums — because no one plays or watches sports
  • No restaurants or home-delivered food — because everyone makes their own dinner
  • No passenger air service — because no one travels for pleasure
  • Fewer hotels and accommodations — ditto
  • No theaters or performance auditoriums — because no one attends concerts or plays
  • No movie theaters — because no one goes to the movies
  • No recorded or live music — because everyone listens to podcasts or BBC Radio 4

It would be fun to have an economist determine what the resulting economy might look like!

But perhaps this rare compliment is not about how I live — but more about how I make the person feel. “It’s always a pleasure talking with you” is another thing I hear from such people.

Once again, these are rare compliments — but they mean a lot to me.

One thought on “Rare compliments

  1. I don’t think anyone has said that to me, but I have wondered what the world would be like with everyone like me. Fewer politicians, or at least fewer politicians who have a strong sense of certainty, and a lot more procrastination and bet-hedging.

    Liked by 1 person

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