I'm not really sure how I feel about this. On the one hand, I was flattered that he would pay me a compliment out of the blue when he had no idea who I was. But on the other hand, his hastily blurted out phrase made me think. How many times am I more comfortable telling a complete stranger I meet that they have lovely eyes or that I like their blouse than I am telling my own friends or my family that they're incredible? Why do I have such a hard time saying, "I love you" to my mom when I care enough about the customers in my store to feel such compassion for them and sometimes express it?
Maybe you have an easier time than I do telling the people around you how you feel, but if you're like me, you need a little extra practice. So here's my suggestion: tell somebody you love something that you've been too afraid or too absentminded to say and see what happens. It might end badly — like it did when I said the three magic words to the only man I ever loved and he admitted that he didn't love me back. Or it might be amazing — like when I finally started saying the same three words to my family after a lifetime of never saying them out loud.
I don't know what will happen, but I'd be curious to find out. Let me know, if you feel comfortable sharing, your experiences with finally spilling the beans in a good way. I'll be waiting.