Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Nine Tenths of Education...

"Nine tenths of education is encouragement." ~Anatole France states ENCOURAGE is “to inspire with hope or confidence; cheer; brighten”

How good does it feel when someone encourages you? Do you enjoy receiving a compliment? Have you ever gotten that warm fuzzy feeling inside when a friend sent you a cheery note via snail mail instead of a text or email? What about when someone did something nice that you did not expect?

Encouragement has the ability to breathe new life into ones soul. It can sustain hope. It can be a catalyst that pushes a person one step further. It seems that encouraging others can be as simple as lighting a candle and watching how powerfully a single flame can light a dark room.

This week my youngest daughter met her deadline and completed her school Science Fair project – something she had been working on for the last eight weeks. In preparation for the judging, she made some note cards to help her stay on track. The stresses of this event coupled with many nights of homework, sporting activities, singing performances and just an overall busy schedule, left my child over-tired…and it showed. The ‘melt down’ happened during the note card process…at the end of the day. A mental block occurred and it was quite evident.

From my perspective, the emotional outburst seemed to be over something rather trivial. It was at that moment that my own words of wisdom popped into my head:

You never know what someone is going through until you walk a mile in their shoes.

I’ve said this to my kids many times. Now the tables were turned. I do not have the same behavior patterns as my daughter, nor do I remember what it is like to be 12 years old, presenting a science project for three adult judges. The reality is I’m not walking in her shoes right now, so I really don’t know what is going through her head and heart. However, there is one thing that I CAN do:


For this particular scenario, encouragement could be a smile, a hug, a cheery word or even a little note in her lunch box. How simple is that? And how powerful! Remember:

You never know what someone is going through until you walk a mile in their shoes.

Make today the day you chose to encourage. What kind of powerful results did you see?

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