My friend, Bob Danzig, has an amazing story. Simple words of appreciation and encouragement changed his life. Bob was in five foster homes during his youth, and said he spent his childhood trying to find someone to love and appreciate him.
When he was nine years old, he had a new social worker. He said after she had done all the paperwork to move him to yet another foster home, she sat him down, looked him directly in the eyes, and said, "Bobby, I want you to always remember these words: YOU ARE WORTHWHILE!"
Bob says that no one had ever said anything like that to him, and each time they met, she repeated those words. They became an affirmation of appreciation that he heard over and over again in his head.
Bob graduated at sixteen, not because he was smart, he says, but because he got mixed up in the system!
He soon took a job at the Albany New York Times as a copy boy, and his very first boss was a woman named Margaret. After he had worked there about six months, Margaret called him into her office one day and asked him to sit down. He thought for sure he was going to be fired! She looked him right in the eyes and said to him, "I have been the office manager for 15 years - I have been observing you - and I believe YOU ARE FULL OF PROMISE." Those words, on that day, gave him permission to aspire.
Those two positive messages of appreciation played over and over again in his head and ultimately gave him the courage to be the very best he could be. Sixteen years later he became the Publisher of the Albany New York Times, and seven years after that, he became CEO of Hearst Newspapers, one of the largest newspaper companies in the world; and he credits it all to those simple words of appreciation and love. What a wonderful example of how little gifts of appreciation can make such a difference in a life!
I just want to share this Proverb with you:
Proverbs 12:18 Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
Looking at ourselves, are we having this problem too often?