One of the most precious gifts in the world to give another person is encouragement. Encouraging someone can help them cross a threshold they might not otherwise cross. - John O'Donohue
Which instance of someone encouraging you has been the most memorable? Would you say you've been as encouraging to others as people have been to you?
I've often reflected how my creative life could have been cut short had both my sisters not been so encouraging about my dreadful teenage poetry. Though I might have continued with other creative pursuits without their support, that encouragement was like oxygen. The best way I've devised to repay them is to treasure their words of encouragement far more than the discouraging words of the bozos who have sometimes been aboard my life's bus.
And how have I done with encouraging others? My answer to that much harder question depends entirely on the kind of day I'm having. Today, thanks to a lovely email I just received from the parent of one of my former guitar students, I'm feeling good about my encouragement ledger. But my missteps in this domain are not a distant memory. Consequently, the quote opening this post - part of that same e-mail - is now taped to the front of this laptop to remind me of the work still to be done as well as how grateful I am to my sisters.
Who was the last person who encouraged you? When was the last time you went out of your way to encourage someone else?