December 1st, 2013 by Jan

If you have spinach in your teeth, would you want someone to tell you? Do you tell others if their zipper is down or if toilet paper is stuck to their shoe?

These are not hard conversations. Yet, it is interesting how some people just walk pass and say nothing. Worse are the ones who smile, compliment your hair, and move on; all the while green stuff is sticking in the nooks and crannies of your bright smile.

What if you see or hear something that isn’t as obvious or silly as green teeth, but could be construed as personally offensive, but maybe not generally so?

Do you walk by, smile and nod, and not participate, or do you say something?

What if you are asked why you walked by? Will you answer or assume the question is for someone else?

All these questions are in my head, because of my big fat idea to give away a quilt on Facebook. I asked others what they would do to pay it forward if they won.

I was really surprised that not very many people participated in the contest. Oh, some did, but so many who usually play bewildered me with their silence. It was the smallest contest participation I’ve ever had. And this when, in my mind, the prize was the best one yet.

So, I asked about it.

One brave person gave me her take on it, which started a small conversation between a few people. But again, most people did not participate.

My take on it all. One brave person told me the equivalent to having spinach in my teeth. Nothing more or less. Others said it was a good look, or complimented my hair, and still most just walked by.

Once again, I am reminded to error on the side of generosity.

9 thoughts on “talkandtell

  1. heather g-m

    Wow. the things I miss when I don’t seek you out on Facebook. I knew you were doing the contest and think I saw the original post (It’s gone now?) but being a holiday weekend down here in the states we were kinda busy.

    I will say (although you didn’t ask) that the contest didn’t really appeal to me – although your beautiful quilts surely do!

    I am not really comfortable trying to compete in a niceness contest. If I want to do something nice, I just do it and don’t usually describe it to folks in advance. So while trying to formulate a response was in the back of my head for a while, like I said I got busy with things here and sort of forgot about it. Anyways, just wanted to let you know why I didn’t enter since it sounds like not many did and it upset you.

    FWIW – my comment was looking to be something like “I am going to be nice by letting someone else win”

    not sure how this relates to spinach though….

  2. Jan Post author

    This is exactly the conversation heather. It never dawned on me to have a contest as to who is the nicest. But that is what it turned into and in the end I won by deleting the entire thing! It only took one person to point out what I couldn’t see, like spinach on the teeth.

  3. Kathy

    Wow. It never occurred to me that you were instigating a contest within a contest. I honestly thought it was a great idea and although I’m not on FB anymore I looked forward to hearing pay it forward ideas from different folk. I loved what Nancy said she would do and it gave me some ideas for future pay it forwards. Anyway…..I’m sorry you felt you had to pull the plug. I still think it was a wonderful idea ~ I didn’t ever see the competition within it ~ just a cool contest with a beautiful prize and the opportunity to gather new pay it forward ideas.

  4. Kathy

    BTW, I know it wasn’t a conscious instigating ~ only goodwill and fun on your part. I find it sad that some people perceived it that way. Food for thought.

  5. nancy walker

    in response to Kathy… maybe it was set up for you, Jan, to decide which friend could do the nicest thing … Total good intent but difficult territory since ALL your friends are nice. BTW, thanks Kathy for your words. This contest inspired that idea and I’m happy got it, it’s a keeper.


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