Our local school posted a wonderful and thought provoking article in this weeks newsletter on the courage to be an individual and the life changing power of words of encouragement and kindness. These are all qualities we aspire to, many times we live them in our everyday lives. The power of an encouraging word can make all the difference to sad and lonely little child feeling left out at school, to help an older person feel needed and important and to help those who dare to be an individual follow their hearts on a path that is often fraught with difficulty as they follow their calling. With thoughtful words, unconditional love and actions we can bring joyfullness to someone else’s life and that ripple effect spreads far wider than we can ever know….
A FROGS TALE
A group of frogs were traveling through the woods, when two of them fell into a deep pit. When the other frogs saw how deep the pit was, they raised their little flipper hands up to their heads, gasped in horror at the situation and told the two frogs that they were as good as dead.
The two frogs in the deep pit ignored the comments of those looking down on them and with all their might, tried to jump up out. Jump after jump after jump they tried their little froggy hearts out.
The other frogs, jumping up and down hysterically kept yelling and screaming at them. Telling them to stop! That they were as good as dead! They were wasting their time!
Finally, one of the frogs took heed to what the other frogs were saying and gave up. He fell down, gave a tiny gasp clutched his little flippers to his chest and died.
The other frog continued to jump as hard as he could. Once again, the crowd of frogs were jumping and ranting and raving and yelled at him to stop the pain and just give up and die. But he jumped even harder and finally with one big lunge he made it out of the pit and flopped to the ground exhausted.
The other frogs were yelling and screaming, waving their little flippered hands above their heads yelling at him “Did you not hear us you fool frog why didn’t you just give up?”
The exhausted little frog looked at them and explained to that he was deaf and he thought they were encouraging him to keep trying.
This simple story teaches us two very valuable lessons:
Lesson 1. There is both negative and positive power in your words. An encouraging word to someone who is down can lift them up and help them make it through the tough days.
Lesson 2. A destructive word to someone who is down can be all it takes to really hurt or destroy a person.
I love this powerful and simple parable. We want our kids to think about what they say and how they speak and relate to each other during every day life and throughout the school day. We, as adults can show these qualities by being present, truly listening, and being encouraging of one another and speak in positives to those who cross our path because words can be very powerful.
An encouraging word can go such a long way. Anyone can speak words that rob a person of their spirit and dignity which makes it really tough to continue in difficult times.
Special is the person who takes the time to encourage them. Those simple few words, a smile and gentleness , heartfelt acknowledgment of another can make all the difference to someones day.
Just in the last 2 days a very dear friend sent us a great letter, not an email, a real letter! It was a lovely surprise and we gathered together to read and follow her instructions. We watched the TED talk by Alex Sheen, all of us completely swept up in this wonderfully inspiring man making a an awesome difference right around the whole globe. The power of a promise has frequently changed the course of history and peoples lives in a myriad of ways. Alex is at the fore of a wonderful movement sweeping our world and I hope you enjoy watching his TED Talk as much as we did
Our older son Hunter promised to be kinder to his younger brother Darcy, Darcy promised he would go to bed and stay there to sleep at night. My husband promised to be patient and speak kindly to his declining in health mother by taking a deep breath and not react to her. I promised to say a kind word each day to a complete stranger and make them smile. In these large or small ways we have the power to change someone’s world for the better and gladden their heart. What can you do today with the power of an encouraging word…?