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Saturday, June 2, 2012

Where Never is Heard...

...a discouraging word.

Think about your week and the people with whom you have interacted.  Whether they were family, friends, clients, colleagues or the person who cut you off in traffic, they all made some type of impact on you. 

There was a day this week in which I was insulted, ignored and encouraged within an eight hour time frame.  I was insulted by the customer who felt it necessary to inform me that he was prepared for my ignorance.  I was ignored by the person who felt it necessary to cut in line at the check-out.  If you had asked me how my day was going at that moment, I may have had a negative reaction and colorful response.  I did however, make it through the day without permanent damage to my self-esteem. 

When I was driving home that day, I began to sing. “Oh give me a home where the buffalo roam and the deer and the antelope play…”  Well, I don’t have deer or antelope, but I do have a dog, a very enthusiastic dog.  I have a dog who doesn’t know how to be anything but…a dog.  When she is out in public, she doesn’t care what people think of her coat.  She could care less if the shoes I’m wearing were made in Italy, so long as I’m willing to walk and play with her.  She is even forgiving when I forget to feed her because she lives with faith believing that Mike will soon be home and he never forgets to feed her.  In spite of limitations of space and time to run freely outside, she is always happy.  In her mind the world was created for her.  Sometimes she looks a little depressed but is easily brought back to happiness by the simple toss of a ball or heavy praise.  In fact the words don't even matter really so long as they are spoken in the right tone of voice.  For Chloe the Corgi, the skies truly are not cloudy all day.  She is fed, and praised and that’s all she needs.

People are not quite as simple as this though.  We need more than a little food and a little praise.  We need a heavy dose of encouragement.  Frankly sometimes those words of encouragement seem few and far between.  Last night before I left for the day, I saw that one of my coworkers was still on line.  I sent her an instant message simply to encourage her and wish her well before her weekend.  This simple act of encouragement was what she needed at that moment, I would later learn.  This morning I had a conversation with a kind co-worker who offered me the words of encouragement that I needed to get through what would normally be a day spent at home. 

The gift of an encouraging word will cost us nothing but the breath to speak or the keystrokes to type. Encouragement is a gift; to the giver as much as to the receiver.  In this world of so many discouraging words, I want to be more keenly aware of those around who simply need to hear a kind word.

Do you need to be encouraged?  I challenge you in this; reach out to someone with words of encouragement and I think you will quickly feel those same words coming back to encourage you just the same. And soon you will notice that your “skies are not so cloudy all day”

Thanks for stopping by.

Amy Lynn Michael

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