The Power of Encouragement

April 30, 2021

There is no shortage of bad news and malice in the world. You don’t need to look very hard to find those. Recently, I’ve felt especially bombarded with that stuff and kind of down. As much as I wanted to be aware of current events, I found myself needing to step back and focus on other things.

Something I try to do when I feel bogged down is to look for the good things about others in my life and encourage them. I always feel better and “seen” when someone notices me and gives a compliment. It feels good to pass on that sentiment.

One person I’ve tried to do that with is my son’s teacher. He has spent the year doing virtual schooling and I am truly indebted to his teacher this semester. She has gone above and beyond for her first-graders not only allowing them to reach their scholastic milestones but being exceedingly creative to keep the students engaged. She has been great at making tools like the “How Are You Feeling” meme chart where they can choose which picture they identify with the most as well as games like “Guess My Number” helping kids use clues and process of elimination to pick a number from a one hundred chart.

I asked my son the other day if he was ready to go to seated school in the fall. He said that he was but he would miss his teacher and all the fun games she’s made throughout the year. She has provided some normalcy for her students in a not-so-normal year.

I try to send her texts here and there to say thank you for all she’s been doing for those kiddos. But recently I wrote an email to our school district expressing my gratitude and lining out all of the hard work she’s done for the students. It took some time to get my thoughts ready to send. Not because I didn’t know what to say but that I decided to start my message right before breakfast on Monday morning and getting my children ready for the day. After taking much longer than I expected to send, I was happily surprised to receive a phone call from one of the higher-ups over virtual learning thanking me for my compliments and agreeing with me that my son’s teacher is awesome. I got a text later that afternoon from my son’s teacher thanking me for my email and saying that it made her cry happy tears.

I tell this story not to toot my own horn – well not just that – but to share that it’s nice to say and do things for other people. My primary love languages are acts of service and words of affirmation. I try to show that I care for others by doing something for them that they’ll appreciate it. Writing an email to my son’s teacher. Paying for the person behind me in the Starbucks line. Rounding up on purchases to help those in need. Kindness can be sharing an encouraging word or just telling a friend that they are good at their job, as a parent, or hobby for no apparent reason. (Now don’t lie. Say what they are good at.) It is nice to be kind and show people when that they are being thought of.

What is something you’ve done to be kind recently? Please tell me below. Let’s make some good in the world.

Kind words are like honey, they cheer you up and make you feel strong. Proverbs 16:24