When the youth in your life are struggling to do the right thing, how do you respond? Do you stand with them?
Or when you see them striving to face a challenge, are you there to offer empowering and inspiring words?
What if you witness the younger person seeking some recognition or validation? Do you give a moment to honor them?
And, what if you see a child looking for a place to belong, do you welcome them?
Are you someone who tends to give the youth (and other people in your life) encouragement, or more discouragement? What is your response when you witness another person feeling discouraged?
Do you become an Encourager?
An Encourager will interact in such a way that the words and actions are about helping others gain courage. That is, they intend to give courage to face the day, to do what’s right, or to make a difference. An Encourager communicates to let others know they matter, that their life is valuable.
There are not enough Encouragers today. There are more and more people voicing discouragement. Just look at any social media feed, and words of criticism and destruction flow from one phrase to the next. People are so quick to speak discouragement, though if you really think about it, what is needed most is encouragement in order to turn the moment around. Aren’t there times when you needed to hear encouragement, but only words of criticism, limitation, or blame were spoken?
I worry about the youth hearing, seeing, and also speaking such discouragement. The criticism and negativity are expanding. The youth need to have Encouragers in life! As a matter of fact, we all do.
Everyone benefits by encouragement, especially in moments of uncertainty. Encouraging words have the power to soothe the pain from a hurtful comment. Encouragement can renew hopes and dreams, ignite a spark to continue and progress. An Encourager helps ease, often remove, discouragement. And most of all, an Encourager makes others feel loved.
Every person, family, workplace, school, and community needs Encouragers.
When people are struggling to do the right thing, they need someone to stand with them.
When people are striving to face a big challenge, or work toward a life goal, they need someone to empower and inspire them.
When people are seeking recognition or validation, they need someone to honor them.
When people are looking for a place to belong, they need someone to welcome them.
Are you an Encourager? We all can be. It only takes a little bit of extra time and effort.
Encouragement can be offered in many ways. Think about what inspires and encourages you: an invitation to talk things out, a surprise phone call, a supportive note or text, a genuine smile, touch, or hug, or an uplifting song… Just think of the many gestures to encourage and bless others.
Today, why not give someone (and yourself) the gift of encouragement. Seek opportunities to encourage others. Be an Encourager to your children, partner, co-workers, friends, or whomever – and don’t forget about yourself.
About the author of this post: Denise Forrest, Ph.D.
Denise is a mother of three grown children and has been a teacher to thousands of students. She is the creator of the TELL message and Founder of TELL Our Children, Inc. Denise also serves K-12 schools as a consultant focusing on mathematics education and instructional decisions for student learning (TELL your students to learn). You can contact her by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.