“If someones listens, or stretches out a hand or whispers a word of encouragement, or attempts to understand a lonely person, extraordinary things begin to happen.” ~ Loretta Firzaris …
I want to offer a twist on an old tale: There was a group of children running in a local charity event who decided to pick on one of their smaller peers. Near the end of the race, the boys tripped up the smaller child and he fell sliding several feet on his arms and face. He was bleeding, embarrassed, and crying as the older children nearby taunted him–calling him names and yelling at him to stay down and cry like a baby. And while the group of children howled insults at the boy, and jeered and laughed at him loudly, he began to stand up and dust off his shirt and pants, and slowly jog towards the finish line. He continued to push himself onward, and as he crossed the line, was met by his father and mother who hugged him. A few moments later, a boy from the crowd came up to him and said, “Did you not hear those boys telling you to give up, calling you names?” And the boy’s parents said in reply, “He is deaf… he thought they were encouraging him the entire time.”
The words we speak hold great power–the power to give life to others and to build them up, or power to take life away and tear them down. And like the example of the boy who fell, we each have the power to encourage others when they fall–to lift them up and save them. But we also have the power to keep them down and diminish them–to kill their spirit within. And so we must always be careful to say what it is we truly wish to say to bring forth goodness and love; we must speak life to those who cross our path in life–offering encouragement to the discouraged and disheartened, friendship to the lonely and neglected, comfort to those in anguish and misery, solace to the tired and weary, joy to the depressed and troubled, and hope for the desperate and despaired.
Whether we recognize it–or even admit it–we all need some encouragement and hope in our lives. There are people in desperate need of it right now. And regardless of whether it is big or small, we all have the ability to offer that encouragement, hope, and understanding every day–each of us can contribute positively to the lives of those in need and then watch as extraordinary things begin to happen in the world around us because of the good we have put forth into it.
Give encouragement and hope to those in need.
Questions to consider:
Why do we so rarely consider what we can contribute to the lives of others when they need us to do so?
In what ways can you encourage at least two people today? To whom can you listen and show understanding?
How would you define “extraordinary things” that can happen when you show caring to another person?
For further thought:
“Most of us, swimming against the tides of trouble the world knows nothing about, need only a bit of praise or encouragement–and we will make the goal.” ~ Jerome P. Fleishman