A Sixty-Word SZEN Story:
“Come on Emma, you can do it!” The reluctant toddler repeatedly fell back on her rump without a whimper. Dad was filming the event, hoping her first step would be forthcoming and cheerleading every small advance. After a while Emma resumed the crawling position. Oh well thought Dad, not today. Later with the camera off, Emma walked into the room.
To encourage someone is to inspire them with the confidence they need to succeed. It’s not giving them the tool sets, or the training, or the talent, it’s giving someone the elusive something they do not possess, the internal courage to believe they can achieve.
Encouragement has no shelf life. A kind word, a pat on the back, a good grade on a test or a smile can take hold years later when the student is ready. Encouragement is a gift that anyone can give and everyone can use. It is, in its purest form, one of the most loving and useful powers we humans possess. We all can, anytime or anywhere offer the assistance or approval that another may need to take appropriate action. That action is most often a resolve to try, and embedded in the effort, like Emma’s first steps, is the magic that encouragement ignites.
All of us can remember the power of encouragement in our life and often years later point to an event, and a person that helped get us going in the right direction by imparting a “yes we can” resolve. Teachers, bosses, friends, siblings and parents are often sought out years later and thanked for believing and demonstrating a faith, that at the time, we couldn’t recognize for its power to transform. With time however, we all come to remember those moments and even the years, when someone who loved us, never waivered in their belief that we could become exactly what we wanted to be. Thanks Mom.
Szenippet: A single word of encouragement has the power to erase doubt, instill confidence and change someone’s world. And we can give it for free.