Dale Carnegie had said, “Any fool can criticize, complain, and condemn – and most fools do. But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving.” I certainly have been guilty of being the “fool” and continue to try to stop myself from complaining, as it is not productive. I also realize the power of words and the impact encouragement can have on individuals. I think the story below does a good job illustrating the power of words.
A group of frogs were traveling through the woods, and two of them fell into a deep pit. All the other frogs gathered around the pit. When they saw how deep the pit was, they told the two frogs that they were as good as dead. The two frogs ignored the comments and tried to jump out of the pit with all their might. The other frogs kept yelling at them to stop, that they were as good as dead.
Finally, one of the frogs took heed to what the other frogs were saying and gave up. He fell down and died. The other frog continued to jump as hard as he could. Once again, the crowd of frogs yelled at him to stop the pain and just quit. He jumped even harder and finally, he made it out. When he got out, the other frogs said, “Did you not hear us?” The frog explained that he was deaf. He had thought they had been encouraging him the entire time.
Two take aways – A discouraging word can rob one of his/her spirit – An encouraging word can lift an individual when they are down to accomplish things they didn’t think was possible. Are your words robbing one of his/her spirits or lifting others to accomplish what they didn’t think was possible? I would love to hear your about your experiences.