World Compliment Day is a nice new phenomenon on the first day of March, 'the most positive day of the world'. The organizers encourage everybody to give a little compliment to the people you live or work with, or to the ones you admire. Just let them know for at least once a year that they look good, do something wonderful or both. A serious well-meant compliment, it's such a simple little effort and it comes with an enormous effect, varying from big smiles and twinkling eyes to nothing less than giving the other the courage and energy to continue whatever good thing they are doing.
This special day made me think about whom I wanted to compliment today. What a tough job this is, because so many people do wonderful things for their own family or community or for the dreams they are trying to accomplish. But today I especially wish to say thanks to the thousands of young Tunisians who dared to demonstrate in front of their Ministry of Education on this World Compliment Day.
Even though it was banned by the Minister himself, they danced the Harlem Shake. Since some weeks this dance is globally an absolute hype on Internet. Allover the world people suddenly feel inspired to design their own moves on a certain rhythm. Often these moves or the (lack of) clothes are a bit sleazy but thousands of homemade videos show an explosion of humor and sparkling creativity. And the morphogenetic vibration on the globe shows how much we all have in common and till what extend music and dance form a language we all understand, no matter our color or culture.
We are actually talking about nothing less than nowadays brotherhood-in-practice, but the Brotherhood-led governments in Tunisia and Egypt want to forbid their youngsters to participate because here and there someone dances the Harlem Shake in his underpants.
What a relief it is that the young people in this relatively obedient culture decided to laugh about the humorless 50-ties mindset of their leaders and decided to dance even harder, louder and more extravagant right in front of the Minister! By doing so they literally stand up for their right to expression and for this they deserve my compliment of the day.
Indirectly this is a compliment for anyone who dares to be inobedient when rights are at stake. Despite the craziness of the moves I somehow see this protest dancers in Tunisia as part of a long inspiring tradition of ordinary people who became famous or at least influential because they didn't accept 'business as usual' and the repressive laws related to it. From Robin Hood to Nelson Mandela, from Gandhi to Rosa Parks, the latter of which very rightfully got rewarded her own statue last week, because she once decided to no longer give up her bus seat for white people, and by doing so sparked the entire American Civil Rights movement into its existence.
Yeah, my compliment of the year is actually a compliment for the guts to be inobedient, when your heart says you have to...