By: Alison Bell
Someone, somewhere, at some point once told me that encouragement is as necessary as the air that we breathe.
Someone, somewhere, at some point also once told me that it takes 7 words of encouragement to negate every 1 negative comment we receive.
Whether or not those two statements are true, they point to the fact that we all, as humans, need encouragement regularly. However, while receiving encouragement is a common need, giving encouragement is not something that comes so naturally. It’s a skill we must develop. And it’s a skill we often forget to utilize during the daily grind.
Last week, our team did a small project that really had a powerful impact on our school. On the wall outside of our office, we put this together:
Every heart and square has a hand-written note of encouragement to a student, teacher, or corps member. My team and I enjoyed writing each note, and I especially enjoyed seeing the students’ and teachers’ enthusiasm as they found their notes on display. I watched as each person, amid the craziness of their days, stopped at the board, smiled, and pointed proudly at their notes. Some liked it so much that they wrote notes of their own and added them to the display board. As a result, I’ve even had a couple of opportunities to have conversations with students about the importance of encouragement. This one-day project has had a subtly powerful impact on the school, and I look forward to continually adding to our board.
I am only aware of a few of the things that many of our kids go through each day at school and at home. Encouragement is vital and deeply appreciated. One “I’m proud of you” can and has made a difference in a student’s day. I’m so thankful to be a part of an organization that is recognized as being a source of encouragement for the students we serve. To all corps members reading this, may we never stop utilizing the skill of encouragement in our daily interactions with every student. To everyone else reading this, may you never forget the importance of encouragement; share a smile today. 🙂