livinglifefully.com

October 10
  
  
If  someone 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

  

Today's Meditation:

I've seen this principle over and over again with my high school students, so much so that I've worked hard to make it a habit to share encouragement rather than criticism, to listen to needs rather than to give expectations and judgments.  When people hear sincere encouragement--not cheerleading or the loud, enthusiastic "you can do it!"--they start to believe in themselves and in their abilities to do things that they might have doubted previously.

We all have the ability to share such encouragement and understanding every day of our lives.  And we can contribute to the positive side of the world and start watching the extraordinary things start to happen as a result of our action, and it's one of the most wonderful feelings in the world to see those results.

The problem is that very often, the ways that other people act make us want to put them in their place more than they want us to encourage them or understand them.  What becomes truly important is our decision to be the kind of person who decides to fill our days with encouragement and understanding of others, rather than with judgment or simply ignoring others.

People always need encouragement, whether we recognize that need or not.  And we can make great things happen, whether we actually witness those great things or not--very often they may show up long after we're gone.  But that's okay--we know that we can contribute positively to the lives of others through our actions, and if we know this, we should simply do so.

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

More on encouragement.

   

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