Friday, April 28, 2017

The Power of Encouragement

Jackie Robinson was the first African-American to play major league baseball. While breaking baseball’s color barrier, he faced jeering crowds in almost every stadium. The stress, pressure and mistreatment were pushing Jackie to the breaking point. While playing one day in his home stadium in Brooklyn, he committed an error. His owns fans began to ridicule him. He stood at second base, feeling humiliated, while the fans jeered. Then shortstop “Pee Wee” Reese came over and stood next to him. He put his arm around Jackie Robinson and faced the crowd. The fans grew quiet. Robinson later said that Reese’s arm around his shoulder saved his career.

Encourage: To inspire with renewed hope, confidence, and strength.

Encouragement is like sunlight to the human spirit. People can’t blossom and grow without it. Fortunately, there are many ways to encourage others: a prayer, a warm greeting, a hug, a phone call, an encouraging card or note, an invitation to lunch or dinner. You can share a joke with someone. You can notice the little things they do, and tell them how much you appreciate it. As Mother Teresa once said, “Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”

Even a small act of kindness can make a huge difference to someone. For example, you can give a neighbor or co-worker a small gift such as a copy of a favorite book or music CD. You can probably think of even more ways to brighten someone’s day. You may find, as I often do, that by encouraging others, you also lift up your own spirits. Who can you encourage today?

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