Thursday, May 24, 2018

Spreading love: “Trinity Compliments”

Rachel Burke ’14

Contributing Writer

While surfing the ‘Book last night, I stumbled across a post that a friend was tagged in.  The post was a wonderful compliment toward my friend, celebrating her kindness and character.  The Facebook user who tagged this individual in the refreshingly friendly post was not listed, though I noticed that the person was using the pseudonym “Trinity Compliments.”

Intrigued by this anonymous giver of compliments, I friended them (first name: Trinity, last name: Compliments), and the page accepted my friend request instantly.  I scrolled down the wall of the page and saw many other posts praising others in the Trinity community, just like the one that was directed toward my friend.

The “About Me” of “Trinity Compliments” illustrates the page’s mission:

“Following the model of a social project that was originally started by students at Queen’s University and most recently at Columbia University, Trinity Compliments aims to spread joy to the Trinity Community.  Simply inbox a compliment or a message of appreciation that you may have about a member of the Trinity community, and have it published here anonymously. So if there is something nice you have to say about someone but don’t feel comfortable saying it to his or her face, inbox away. Your name will be kept anonymous. Keep in mind that hateful or rude remarks will be completely disregarded. SPREAD HAPPINESS!”

I can’t think of something more that the Trinity College community needs. Or the world for that matter.

There are a lot of issues that Trinity currently faces as a community, with many opposing sides and grey areas.  Whether it’s the new social code, women’s rights, politics, or the relationship between Trinity and the Hartford community, there’s an argument to be had. “Trinity Compliments” is, without a doubt, something we all can agree on.  The initiative is something that we should all support.

One of the main factors that allows the page to thrive is the fact that you can submit a thought about someone without attribution to you.  I think that this is a clever tactic that will inspire more people to contribute and speak their minds.  Anonymity is successful in many Internet campaigns like this; check out PostSecret.com for proof.  However, I hope that this anonymous online outlet also encourages people to start to compliment people more frequently in real life as well, face-to-face and with pride.  “Trinity Compliments” has the potential to inspire increased good will throughout the Trinity community every day.

Whether you are writing about one of your good friends, a classmate, or someone you barely know whom you observed being kind to a stranger – GO FOR IT.  The project is a contained, positive social tool that is spreading love in our college community.  I hope that this Facebook campaign also encourages individuals in our community to behave differently and more positively in our daily lives. Whether you have already been named on the website or have already submitted your thoughts to the cause, keep up the good work.

My advice:

Please friend “Trinity Compliments”, share the page with your friends, submit compliments, and make a cognizant effort to compliment at least one person every day, face-to-face. Spread the word about this site and let the whole Trinity College community know about this community-building tool that is available at our fingertips.  Tell your friends at other schools to look for a page like this at their school, or encourage them to start on of their own.

To whomever runs “Trinity Compliments”, a compliment for you:  You’re brilliant.

Burke also submitted this article to Inthecac.com.

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