Be an Encourager

Be an Encourager

Be an Encourager

This past weekend I watched the Grammy awards and couldn’t help but notice a pattern. Many of the winners started their acceptance speeches with some version of, “I just want to thank ______ for encouraging me to believe in myself, or take a risk, or be true to myself, to never give up….” The implication is that without the encouragement they are referencing, they might never have been able to accomplish what they did.

Most of us will not ever find ourselves giving an acceptance speech in front of millions of viewers, but most of us have received the gift of someone who has encouraged us. Pause for a moment and bring to mind someone who encouraged you at some point in your life. Do you remember what they said? Perhaps not, but you likely remember the spirit of what they said, and how much it boosted your confidence and self-esteem.

The first three words in the quote in the box above by Dave Willis are so simple that it would be easy to miss their power. Be an encourager. I have already noted the significant impact encouragement has on people in the frequency with which its power is referenced in the award speeches at the Grammys. Offering encouraging words to your child, partner, friend, colleague, family member, or even a stranger, is so simple do to and yet we can often immediately see their positive effect.

In light of the celebration of Valentine’s ay the week, we have all seen countless images of hearts, including some version of the popular graphic that has the word “I” followed by a heart, which is then followed by the word you.

While the obvious meaning of this is “I love you,” it can also be interpreted as a perfect representation of the words, “I encourage you.” This is because the word “courage” derives from the same root as the Latin word for heart, “cor,’ and in Old French, the word “corage.” The prefix “en” means “to cause to be in,” or “to put in” and so together to encourage another person literally means to put heart into that person.

So who do you know that could use a little encouragement right now? What could you say or do that could put some heart into their lives? Your encouragement might not lead to their winning a Grammy someday, but I guarantee it will add some sweet music to their lives in the present moment.

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