Someone named Mike sent an email yesterday:

You really macgyvered that situation!

At first I thought it was a typo. But then …


Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

… I realized he’d made a verb out of a proper noun—the name of an old TV series called “MacGyver.” And apparently there’s a 2016 remake of the show, which I wouldn’t have known had I not Googled (you see how I ‘verbed’ that proper noun there). 

Here’s the full email:

“Hello, I’m Mike. I read a piece of your writing called ‘Unexpected Serenade’ in Bella Grace magazine at our Borders bookstore in Amherst, NY.” 

(The piece he’s referring to was about anticipating a long travel day and determining to make the most of it by doing random acts of kindness, and in the course of the day, getting serenaded by a high school choir.)

Mike’s email continued:

“I want to say that I was very moved by your story since I’m a guitarist when I’m not doing engineering lol. You really pulled a rabbit out of the hat which normally would be just another boring wait at the airport. You really macgyvered that situation!”

The fictitious MacGyver had an extraordinary knack for unconventional problem solving: “If you hear people say they ‘MacGyvered’ something, it means they came up with a creative solution, possibly using everyday items such as duct tape or a Swiss Army knife.”

Mike’s comment is one of the most unique compliments I’ve ever received. And on National Compliment Day, which just so happens to have been yesterday, January 24th.

I love this ancient proverb:

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit. – Proverbs 18:21

We humans have the power to speak life and courage to each other. Or we can speak death and hopelessness—our words are that brawny.

(Have you ever thought about how none of the rest of God’s creation has this capacity?)

What if?

What if we took advantage of our powers for the good? What if we spoke kindness and hope and courage into someone’s life today?

And what if we got into the habit of doing that on all the other 364 non-National Compliment Days of the year?

Thank you, Mike, from Amherst, NY.