“Those who are lifting the world upward and onward are those who encourage more than criticize.” ~ Elizabeth Harrison …
I sometimes find myself wondering in which direction the world is truly going. At times it seems that there are simply too many horrible atrocities to read and hear about in the news–terrible suffering and hardships faced by people in our communities, societies, and throughout the world. And yet, when we witness individuals who are making positive contributions to the world around us–lifting others up, giving compassion, generosity, mercy, forgiveness, healing, love, empathy, service, and concern for their fellow man, the darkness that has crept around us is dispelled in an instant, for we see that the world is becoming a better place for all those who live here, and the good we pour forth into the world becomes our promise to ourselves and to our children of a better place.
It is easy to find faults in others and to criticize and disparage them for those lapses and shortcomings. But that does not lift the world upward and onward as Elizabeth is encouraging us to do here. And perhaps we have good intentions, but in our desire to help and nurture others, we feel the need to criticize or shame others to get them to change their beliefs or improve what they are doing. However, our criticisms tend to have more negative effects in their lives overall than many of the alternative methods of helping lift them up through encouragement and support.
Whenever my daughter wakes up with a bad attitude–one of grumbling and complaining–I find ways to bolster her confidence and outlook in life by encouraging the best qualities within her and reminding her of the blessings she has in her life. Time and time again I have found this strategy to be far more effective than pointing out how negative she is being and telling her to stop complaining. And perhaps that is because it is much easier to inspire positive changes in the lives of those around us through encouragement.
What do you give to the people that are around you? Do others tend to avoid you because of your criticism and disparaging remarks, or do they seek your company and look forward to seeing you because of your uplifting encouragement and support? The way we make others feel goes a long way towards determining the depth and value of our relationships, which of course directly affects much of our experience in life. And more importantly, the kind words of encouragement we share with others goes on to provide hope, nourishment, support, and encouragement to others who will help lift the world up and make it a better place for all those here and for our future generations.
Share some positive inspiration, reassurance, and hope with those around you.
Questions to consider:
What kind of encouragement can you share with others today?
Why is it so much easier to criticize and point out faults? Why do we sometimes even feel a need to do so?
Which people have helped you to advance the most–those who have focused on criticism, or those who have focused on encouragement?
For further thought:
“Tell your child, your spouse, or your employee that he or she is stupid or dumb at a certain thing, has no gift for it, and is doing it all wrong, and you have destroyed almost all incentive to try to improve. But use the opposite technique–be liberal with your encouragement, make the thing seem easy to do, let the other person know that you have faith in his or her ability to do it, that the person has an undeveloped flair for it–and that person will practice until the dawn comes in the window in order to excel.” ~ Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People