Wilferd A. Peterson


I know a man who read a sentence that changed his whole mental chemistry about being a father.  When his son was about six years old this father happened to read these words:  "A boy does not have to be shown a mark on the wall to measure up to when there is a man around about the size he wants to be."  He decided to so live that his example would be an inspiration to his son.  He didn't go off to the golf course and let the son grow up without him.  He wasn't "too busy" to be a companion to his son.  They played ball together, fished together, read books together, went to the circus together, attended church together.  That father raised a fine son through the influence of an inspiring example.

What are some of the inspirational chemical elements that we can use to inspire others?

Appreciation.  Pass the praise along.  Praise stimulates and results in improved work, for it increases a person's confidence.  One feels that one "belongs," that one is on the team.  Praise a child's good marks or good behavior and watch that child improve.  Praise your wife's pie and you'll have more and even better pies in the future.

Vision.  Often we quit because the future is clouded.  We feel there is no hope.  It is as though we are trying to look into the future through a soot-covered window.  Wash the window so that you can see through its gleaming surface into the months and years ahead.  Many a young person has been helped and inspired to carry on because someone has shown him or her the possibilities of the future.

Faith.  Most of all we need someone to have faith in us, especially when we meet with failures and reverses.  Faith is a steadying quality.  When someone believes in us and in the work we are doing we are greatly strengthened.  Edison was sent home from school because the teacher said he was hopeless.  Years later Edison said, "I won out because my mother never for a single moment lost faith in me."

Courage.  Someone has said that beaten paths are for beaten people.  People with new ideas, big plans, great ambitions, noble dreams, need someone to lift them up, cheer them on, stimulate them to dare, to wrestle with so-called impossibilities, and to win.  Every new idea, from steamboats to airplanes, has met with ridicule and opposition.  But someone believed in those ideas enough to urge the inventors on.

Imagination.  Arousing the imagination arouses the creative powers of people.  Help people to see themselves as they wish to be.  Help them to visualize themselves succeeding.  Help them to dream great dreams.

Patience.  People need to be taught the wisdom of working and waiting.  Many people have left the dock just before their ships came in.  Time has great power to solve problems.  Counsel patience.

Love.  The most wonderful inspirational chemistry we can use on one another is the gift of our love and acceptance.  Devoted and unquestioned love has a magic creative power.  The consciousness of being loved is an uplifting, saving, healing force that causes one to go on when otherwise it would be impossible to do so.  "Love," said Emerson, "is the affirmative of affirmatives."

We talk about the inspiration of God in our world.  That inspiration can come only as individuals like you and me become channels for it.  In our behavior, in the words we write and speak, we can become ambassadors of God's inspiration.  Whenever we strive to lift others in ways that are good and noble we are serving as radiating centers for God's inspiration.

All we know of God's inspiration has come through the great lives that have been lived, the great books that have been written, the great music that has been created, the great buildings that have been built, the great pictures that have been painted.  The great and good men and women of all the ages expressed God.  To strive to express the goodness of God is to become a supreme inspirationalist.

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