Cookie Monster

The use of COOKIES and the collection of data on this blog is being done by Google, not by this blog owner.

Here is the notice Google provides on this site when accessed from the European Union: “This site uses cookies from Google to deliver its services and to analyze traffic. Your IP address and user-agent are shared with Google along with performance and security metrics to ensure quality of service, generate usage statistics, and to detect and address abuse.”
To learn more about “How Google Uses Cookies,” copy and paste the following:

"Free and critical minds can emerge only by a return to the source-the primary sources. A free and critical mind takes nothing for granted and is not intimidated by "authorities" who frequently may be more confused than the general public. Free and critical minds seek truth without chauvinism or shame." - Dr. Asa G. Hilliard III (1)

“One single bit of information, if missing, incomplete, out of order or just plain wrong, has the potential to significantly alter thought processes, conclusions, decisions and behaviors, even when that one single logic entry exists in a sea of accuracy.”

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Encouragement: The Gift Opener

This is a follow-up to “Opening The Gift of Childhood.”

A friend remembers being assigned a speaking role in a church performance at age 12. Although she dreamed of speaking before others and practiced speaking to imaginary crowds often, she begged her parents and church members to not make her go through with it. They said, “You can do it!” They didn’t fully realize her lack of confidence came from her reliance on others to do things for her. When the moment arrived, she froze, then, ran crying from the church. Her peers teased her but adults provided kind words and encouragement.

Now that facing a real crowd was no longer unfamiliar territory and with continued support to believe in her abilities, she began taking smaller steps. She spoke from her place in the congregation, collected church offerings, taught Sunday School, joined church and school plays and spoke in her classes. During this process she realized two things: (1) The same people she spoke to one-on-one were the same people in the congregation and (2) Communicating one on one was good but with groups, she could deliver the same message once and impact more people.

Overall, she learned to view challenges and frustrations as preparation for blessings. Whenever fear tries to surface anywhere, she reaches into this experience. As Tavis Smiley (quoting Marvin Gaye) suggests, she has “turned her fear into energy” and now speaks to groups on a regular basis and finds it much easier because speaking and her topics are her passions.

In high school, I was terrified of taking an English class from one particular teacher. I heard she was hard from student informants. I doubted my ability to comprehend and keep up with the concepts, the teacher and the really smart students. I tried to get out of it but couldn’t. I planned to do the minimum until I learned we had to write something everyday in a journal, let her read it, criticize it and grade it. Me? Write daily about something personal and let someone more knowing than me read it? However, I feared not graduating more than I feared not being good enough.

I rambled through the routine, wrote whatever and gambled with true feelings. In return, I received praise, encouragement, silence, gentle guidance and freedom to write my thoughts my way. Needless to say, writing then has helped writing now because that journal assignment was much more than an English lesson. It has helped shape my acceptance of this and other gifts as the purest form of praise to the Great Giver of Gifts. It opened my confidence, self view and worldview just enough. I learned another method to understand and communicate with myself and others. What I write can’t be changed plus it has the power to impact more people than I will ever meet face to face.

Encouragement in any form is a gift opener. We do angelic things when we consider the needs of others.

Technorati Tags:
, , , ,


  1. Great writing! After reading this I began to reflect on my childhood and see my destiny.

    Keep the encouragements coming,

  2. In a sense what has happened here is empowerment. Positive feedback, freely given and without expectation has the potential to empower. In both instances opportunity was given for small, do-able steps and along the way opportunities presented themselves. In the end it is up to us to choose the path, the vision clearer from the empowerment. Each of us is born a story teller, writing our modern tool.

  3. Absolutely! A natural and direct result of encouragement is empowerment. Thanks for bringing this into full view.

  4. The information here is great. I will invite my friends here.


  5. Asante for the encouragement. A little goes a long way.


See Comment Policy Below