Sentence Sermons (Christian Inspiration) #127 --- Encouragement
Quotations on Encouragement
By cooperation, the best results may be obtained. No one can go ahead, along the pathway of life, hoping to reach the goal of great things by going alone. Every little smile, every little pleasing word of encouragement; every little elbow-lift across the highway of life, helps build up character, and character builds the world.
---Frank W. Pratt, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Richmond, Va., April 3, 1922.
Love is too busy encouraging to have any time to criticize.
---Elijah Powell Brown, Los Angeles Herald, Los Angeles, Calif., Aug. 13, 1904.
They also are Good Samaritans who encourage others on life’s way.
---Edmund J. Kiefer, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., Aug. 11, 1967.
A good opinion of another is likely to be no better than its expression. Persons we think well of deserve our encouragement. There is no reason to be stingy with the least costly of all beneficial commodities. No one is more generous than one who inspires others with faith in themselves. It may be that they stand highest in the Lord’s regard who are lowliest in their own. The characteristic humility of the great shows that sincere modesty bears no relation to an inferiority complex. We can reform others only by impressing them with our good opinion of them. To despise one’s fellow men is to array witnesses against oneself at the Last Judgment. Only the Lord in His heaven is in a position to look down on humanity.
---Edmund J. Kiefer, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., June 27, 1954.
Every young man needs as much encouragement as advice.
---Roy L. Smith, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., Jan. 12, 1928.
We cannot give encouragement to other men without feeling encouraged ourselves.
---Roy L. Smith, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., May 24, 1930.
It is never too late to speak a word of encouragement to a man who is still trying.
---Roy L. Smith, Buffalo Courier-Express, Buffalo, N.Y., July 29, 1933.
Each of us can do untold good by speaking words of good cheer and encouragement. Often all that is needed to cause someone that is in despair to take heart and endeavor to lead an upright and a godly life is to give him a hearty welcome to the house of God. If we know that God is on our side, then heaven is our home; the sorrows and the struggles of life can be borne with a brace heart and a smiling face. With the love of God, and the desire to live lives that shall make humanity better in our hearts, hope and joy will radiate from our hearts, and from the hearts whose broken chords we may unite by ministrations of sympathy and kindness, celestial harmonies of gratitude and love will rise to God.
---J.L. Gross, Houston Post, Houston, Texas, Feb. 12, 1906.
“That I may be comforted together with you.” “Encouraged by meeting you.” (Read Romans 1:8-12.)
There are few more blessed gifts than the power to comfort and encourage others. Like the quality of mercy, it blesses him that gives and him that takes.
Some people seem to specialize in the dismal faculty of discouragement. They radiate complaints and despair and have nothing to share but fear. And, like the shadow of a great rock in a weary land, there are those who, out of the fullness of their own faith and courage, sympathy and understanding, assure and empower all who meet them. No need to say how much we all need courage and comfort now, all of us, to receive and to give. Nor is it beyond our power to be ourselves comfort and courage givers, if only we keep close to the Divine source of comfort and courage. Let us so live that we may hearten others as they hearten us and share with them the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
---Gaius Glenn Atkins, St. Joseph News-Press, St. Joseph, Mo., Feb. 26, 1944.
Aid to others who need support and encouragement is the very embodiment of the sacrifice of thanksgiving.
---Edward R. Cassidy, The Bogalusa Enterprise and American, Bogalusa, La., Nov. 27, 1931.
Encouragement marks the man who has the Spirit of God.
---Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., March 12, 1941.
Encouragement pays its dividends in good spirits.
---Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., March 12, 1941.
Encouragement is like pure air for the suffering.
---Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., March 12, 1941.
Nothing costs less than a word of encouragement to the downhearted.
---Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., May 26, 1941.
What encourages the downhearted more than the outstretched hand of a good friend and neighbor? It is then the sun breaks through the cloud of despair and new faith and courage springs up in the hearts of the recipient of such charity.
Most of us have conceived erroneously the word charity. We seem to act under the impression it is simply giving a poor man [money] for a scant meal. That is good and generous, of course, but it is not the sort of help that inspires new courage and faith. Feed a man and he will hunger again; clothe him and his garments will wear out. Give him the substantial encouragement which renews within him a fixed faith in himself and you have administered to him a permanent charity.
A word spoken at the right moment has saved men from suicide. A song of inspiration has rescued many who were on the way downward. Only to see the light of possibility, sometimes, is necessary to cause a man or woman, boy or girl, to turn back, catch a new vision, grasp a new hold on life and rise to higher planes.
Those who extend the hand of succor and encouragement are, indeed, the most beneficial factors in the community. Material help, of course, is often necessary to relieve physical suffering of women and children, yet, even men. But this is not all. To plant in the heart of the downtrodden a new inspiration to surmount difficulties is to exercise that noble Christian charity which sustains and keeps the individual on an upward trend. Note the heart of a little child--how glad and happy and carefree it ever is. No heavy cares of life have yet weakened its hopes. It sees only the sunshine; inhales only the fragrance of flowers. Would that life throughout could be full of just this and nothing else. But not so. It is decreed by a Higher Power than man's weak will that trials and setbacks be stumbling blocks in the way. And to overcome them means to become morally strong. When they become so numerous and strong as to break down courage, then it is that words of encouragement--real charity--are needed and are timely given.
---Emmett J. Lee, The Gazette, Farmerville, La., Aug. 10, 1938.
"And let us consider how to stir up one another in love and good works." (Hebrews 10:24.)
The great Dr. George W. Truett had a famous sermon entitled, "The Need for Encouragement." In this sermon, Dr. Truett declares that everyone needs encouragement.
There is no one exempt from the need to be encouraged by others. Particularly is this true within the family circle. The husband needs the encouragement of his wife. The wife needs the encouragement of her children. The children need the constant encouragement of both parents.
Our text urges us to give courage to one another in practicing self-forgiving love and in doing good for our God and for others.
1. Let us encourage one another.
This imperative is all inclusive in its necessity. There is not one among us who will not be in need of encouragement through the week. Someone has said, "Love is not a bowl of cherries." Life can be difficult. An achievement is always the result of overcoming obstacles.
This imperative is all inclusive in its application. It is the will of our Lord that each of us be a cheerleader to others. Husbands and wives should encourage each other in the pilgimage toward achieving a happy and successful marriage. Parents should encourage their children, particularly with expressions of gratitude and commendation. Too often parents are overly generous with the criticisms and very stingy with words of encouragement. Children can greatly encourage their parents both by their choices and by their conduct.
Teachers have a marvelous opportunity to encourage students toward excellence of achievement, while students also can be a great encouragement to their teachers.
In the employer-employee relationship, there is great room for improvement in encouraging each other.
Every Christian should be a part of God's cheering squad to encourage other Christians.
2. Why is continuous encouragement needed?
The undetected illness that plagues many of us is called depression by the modern psychologists. People have a tendency to become discouraged and to experience defeat in doing that which is significant and helpful. Why is this so?
There are reasons within ourselves that make living the principle of love and helpfulness difficult. By nature we are immature and self-centered creatures. We find it easier to hate than to love. We find it easier to quit than to keep going on. We must overcome these inward inclinations toward the self-centered life. The right kind of encouragement can greatly assist us.
There are reasons with even the workd of the Lord that make it difficult for one to continue to give himself to a life of loving helpfulness to others. The sinful world in which we live provides no encouragement. The devil himself will do everything that he can to create discouragement, despair and defeat. Spiritual progress is always an uphill experience. The prevailing spirit of the world would encourage us to float downstream, and it is always difficult to swim upstream. The writer of the Book of Hebrews marshals the spiritual leaders of the past ages In Hebrews 11, which has been called faith's Hall of Fame, in order that they mighty cheer us on as we run the race that has been set before us. (Hebrews 12:1-2.)
Let us encourage each other to have a greater faith in God. Let us share with others our experiences with God in order that we might impart to them the benefits of our faith.
Let us encourage each other to make a sacrifice for God and for others. The meaning of our sacrifice is the measure of our love and the measure of our faith.
Let us encourage each other to invest of ourselves in spiritual values. We live in a world that emphasizes materialistic values. The greatest values are in the realm of the spirit. It is said that one's interest will always follow his dollars. If this is true, we can position our heart in God's kingdom work by investing significantly in and through His church with generous tithes and offerings.
Let us encourage each other to live for eternity rather than living as creatures of time, hopping around like grasshoppers with no thought for tomorrow.
Let us encourage each other to be concerned for the souls of others. We can witness to those who come under the sphere of our personal influence. We can contribute to the support of missions and have a part in bringing men and women to know Jesus Christ.
Let us encourage each other to involve ourselves in loving service so that we will truly be worth something to God and to others.
May the good Lord above help all of us in the struggle of life to be cheerleaders to each other as He seeks to encourage us. May he always put His Spirit within us and upon us.
---Noah Langley, The Daily Iberian, New Iberia, La., April 3, 1993.
The word benevolent bears its own significance. Within its meaning let me place encouragement. There is nothing that poor, starved human nature requires more than encouragement, no grace that a man can confer upon his fellowmen sweeter than encouragement. There is no virtue more easy to acquire than that grace of comforting and encouraging our fellowman in his need. ... Many a brave soul, fighting the hard and difficult fight for life, has sought wish wistful eyes for that warmth and encouragement and, not finding, has fallen crushed and maimed even within sight of victory.
I believe there are more failures through lack of encouragement than through lack of ability. Men are driven to black thoughts, dissipation and the darkness of crime for want of a little gentle assistance--or kindly glances and comforting words of encouragement. Isn't it an awful arraignment of human nature to think that it will not spare or give that which costs it nothing? And it's a strange paradox, and as true as it's strange, that those who need help and encouragement most are those who are most ready to give them to others. The world is full of sensitive souls--in fact, those who accomplish most are usually those who are most sensitive. To such natures as these the encouraging word is essential as sunshine is to the flowers or water to the thirsty soil. Who knows what great deeds have been left undone for want of encouragement--what, for want of it, the world of progress, of science or art may have lost--and what impetus a tender, hopeful word may have lent to the development, the betterment and the humanizing of man?
After all, it is the little things in life which count, and I believe that we need encouragement even in the doing of good. ... Unfortunately, it seems to be a general trait in human nature to proclaim our faults--nay, even our failures, and to close the eye and seal the mouth to our virtues and accomplishments.
---Lester Lonergan, The Daily Picayune, New Orleans, La., Dec. 7, 1908.
What is meant by cooperation? Cooperation is the act of joining others in doing something—working together. … Encouragement and cooperation go very well together—one is not complete without the other—that is why I am appealing for cooperation as well as encouragement. .. Cooperation should permeate the whole program of “thinking of others as well as yourself,” [to] be a potential influence upon the formation of success.
---Willie Mae Richardson, Waycross Journal-Herald, Waycross, Ga., May 17, 1941.
One of the saddest traits any human being can have is that of withholding praise that he ought to pay, tributes that he ought to make, commendation that he ought to voice.
No man can make a success without encouragement.
By withholding praise and tribute and commendation we may limit unnecessarily the degree of success the people we know can make and will make.
It is a heavy responsibility to assume when by refusing to pay the tribute you realize you ought to pay you doom another to some degree of failure.
All of us know this yet all of us have been guilty of withholding praise that we know has been earned.
Hardly a day goes by that each of us does not come in contact with some deed of another that we appreciate and admire, rare is the day when each of us says unto that we appreciate and admire what he is doing.
We could never have been what we are today had we been doomed to a life devoid of praise and encouragement and commendation.
---Jack Williams, Sr., Waycross Journal-Herald, Waycross, Ga., Dec. 4, 1942.
We need the Ship of Encouragement, rather than the Ship of Opposition, to guide us upon the stormy sea of life.
---George Matthew Adams, Waycross Journal-Herald, Waycross, Ga., March 5, 1941.
I am reminded of a beautiful story that I heard many years ago. A mother lost her only child. Her grief was crushing. So intense was it that she could talk of nothing else, and so grew sadder and more despondent. Gradually her nearest friends avoided her.
But one evening, after a long day in town, she came home exhausted and threw herself upon a couch to rest. She fell asleep and dreamed that she went to Heaven and there saw a beautiful procession of children, each with a lighted candle. Brightening, she said to herself: “Now I will see my child!” Sure enough, soon her child appeared but her candle was out. Surprised, the mother inquired: “Dear, why is your candle not lighted?” The child replied: “It was, Mother, but your tears keep putting it out.”
The Mother awoke, and from that time on her grief was assuaged, and she became happy again, and her friends welcomes the change. The light of her life burned anew.
In our hearts we all carry lighted candles, I believe. Lights of hope, courage, ideals, and high purposes. We try to keep them ever burning, so as to guide us in our decisions, in our hours of discouragement, and when we lose our way. But there are people who keep blowing these lights out—unknowingly, perhaps. The steadily hopeful and courageous, however, keep lighting them, again and again.
Every time you express a destructive thought against another you blow out one of the lights in that person’s consciousness. If you can’t boost, certainly don’t boot!
Encouragement is one of the greatest forces in this world. No light in one’s heart has ever gone out on its account. To genuinely live and to do so ever in a hopeful mood is not always the easiest task. It was never meant to be so. But if we take care not to blow out the lights of hope, faith, ambition, and firm resolve, as we feel them burning in the breasts of others, we can be assured that the light in our lives will glow the brighter.
Our job in this world is not to make money, and gloat about it, nor to gain individual headway by ignoring the rights and feelings of others, but by lending a hand whenever and wherever we can—losing no opportunity by word of mouth, or by the written word.
---George Matthew Adams, Waycross Journal-Herald, Waycross, Ga., March 6, 1940.
He who is forever giving encouragement to others earns happiness best.
---George Matthew Adams, Waycross Journal-Herald, Waycross, Ga., April 12, 1940.
The dictionary gives for “Courage”—courage, heart, mind, will, courage. Old French corage. French, courage, from a derivative of Latin cor, heart. The heart, as the seat of intelligence, or of feeling, hence, mind, spirit, temper, or disposition; also a proud or angry temper; high spirit. Desire, will, intention; that quality of mind which enables one to encounter danger and difficulties with firmness, or without fear, or fainting of heart; value, boldness, resolution.
For “encourage” we have: to give courage to; to inspire with courage, spirit or hope; to raise or to increase the confidence of; to animate; enhearten; to help forward.
For “encouragement” the definition is: Act of encouraging or state of being encouraged.
Think of one whose heart is giving away and in consequence the body and all the body faculties are becoming steadily weaker and weaker.
Imagine one from whom the heart has been taken away, powerless to function in any attribute of the body or mind. Imagine the great boon if another could come along and place a heart in that lifeless body, incapable of functioning.
That is an extreme, impossible illustration, purely a fiction of the imagination but it brings out the spirit of encouragement, the role of encouragement, the real meaning of encouragement, the inestimable effect of encouragement.
Spiritually, no one is able to escape moments and days when it seems literally the heart has gone out of what one is seeking to accomplish, when all effort is without heart, when the heart is lacking to go on, when there is an inability to function.
How much does it mean if at this time another can come along and place heart into effort, heart into the lifeless person, heart into the person without hope?
This need is universal. No person lives but who has experienced this need at times.
Even so, the greatest good of encouragement is whatever heart one has encouragement strengthens that heart, puts more heart into effort, and puts additional heart into all that one does.
No person has the heart to keep on doing his best work without encouragement. That is a task beyond the heart power of any person. To do his best work day in and day out, to get the utmost out of himself, to do the fullest credit to himself one must have encouragement.
That is what it means to a person to have one who believes in him, who knows what his best work can be, who is confident he can and will exert himself to the utmost, who is never discouraged in regard to him, who quietly but constantly gives and gives and imparts encouragement.
That encouragement is the difference between one doing brilliant work or indifferent work; between one doing his best or being a discredit to himself, between one having enthusiasm for and in his work and looking upon his work as routine and drudgery; between being filled with hope or downcast with doubts.
If you are possessed of one who is a constant, daily, unfailing, confident source of encouragement count yourself rarely fortunate, for yours will be the greater success and that success will bring you greater satisfaction and enduring happiness.
Sometimes one errs in thinking he has earned encouragement. That is not something one can earn. It comes always as a gift inspired wholly by a genuine, unselfish interest in you. You cannot earn that. You can be thankful that rare good fortune has brought you the gift. You can match the sincerity of the gift with sincerity of appreciation.
In him who receives encouragement as something he has earned, in the same spirit as he would cash a paycheck, there is a flaw that never will be remedied.
---Henry Arnold “H.A.” Stallings, Waycross Journal-Herald, Waycross, Ga., June 3, 1938.
It is a regrettable fault of the average individual that he is prompt to voice criticism but determined not to express praise.
Yet this same individual who will refuse under any and all conditions to express praise to a fellow man owes all of his success to encouragement. That encouragement may have come from within his own family. It may have come from a close friend. It may have come from a more distant source. But no man can attain success without encouragement and the fact that a man has attained success in some line of endeavor is proof positive that he has been receiving encouragement.
Some people have the idea that the possession of two dollars where only one was possessed previously; that an increase in wages or salary; that removal from one home to a better home; that material improvement that cannot be discounted constitutes all the encouragement any man needs.
The truth, without exception, is that material encouragement alone will not furnish the inspiration to carry a man to success. If a man seeks his inspiration solely from material possessions, he will never be able to summons the staying power requisite for success. No man can reach success unless some other human being feeds him encouragement.
Gratitude for the encouragement he has received; gratitude that the only means of attaining success was provided him ought to induce every man to hand out encouragement. …
If every human being in the world from this day on would be prompt to accord to the human beings in his personal acquaintance the praise and encouragement he deemed merited, the amount of success in this world would be immeasurably multiplied.
This is not a Pollyanna statement. It is not sentimentality. It is as coldblooded a business proposition as ever you have heard or eve will hear. If that were done it would furnish to every human being the encouragement without which he has no possible chance of making a success.
You have the absolute proof of this in your own life. If you review your own career you will be prompt to see and to admit that the courage, the determination, the will, the inspiration to move on to success came always from expressed encouragement.
Everyone admits that Mother Love is the greatest of all human emotions. Did you ever stop to think that a mother never gets to the point where she cannot and does not encourage her child? Ordinarily the desire to make a success is implanted in the child by the encouragement of the mother. That desire to make a success grows and becomes practical only if fed by encouragement from some source. That is the testimony of every man we have ever heard try sincerely to account for his success.
Every time you withhold merited praise, you are reducing the amount of success in the world. If the world is more successful, you can be more successful.
---Henry Arnold “H.A.” Stallings, Waycross Journal-Herald, Waycross, Ga., Jan. 6, 1942.
“To encourage:” means “to put heart into.”
Perhaps if everyone realized that is the meaning of sincere encouragement, words of praise would not be so scarce.
To encourage another literally is to make it possible for him to put more of his heart into what he is doing or hopes to be able to do.
That is important because the only source of action is an emotion. No matter how much one may think about something or plan it he never does the least thing about it until it becomes a feeling; until it has entered inside his heart.
Action never springs from an intellectual appraisal of possibilities.
All of the brains, all of the intelligence on earth are without the power to inspire a single individual unto action. Only an emotion can move one unto action.
“It is a passion with him” is one way of saying that so much of one’s capacity for emotion is concentrated on the doing of a certain thing or the accomplishment of a certain ambition, that work to that end has become a flaming, burning passion.
“He puts his heart into his work” is yet another way of saying that emotion inspires work and remains to color work. The one who works harder than another is he who can put more of his heart into his work; who is so much interested in what he wants to accomplish with the work, he is wrought up about it; he feels deeply and evidently about it. Exactly. It was because he felt deeply about what he wanted to accomplish that he became willing to work to make the dreamed-of accomplishment a fact.
“I want it so bad I can taste it” is another of the human expressions of this unalterable fact that only an emotion moves a man unto action.
That is why the Bible says that love of money, not money, is the root of all evil. Love of money is an emotion. Money is not.
The laziest man on earth is the one whose emotions cannot be aroused.
The finest example of this is that immediately one falls in love he wants to do something about it. Love is the strongest of the emotions and love never fails to move a man unto action. He starts at once doing things that he wants to do and is willing to do only because he has love. A lover is just about the busiest man on earth.
What is an inspirational address? It is an address that can arouse the feelings of the audience. It is not a cold, dry, dusty intellectual appraisal. Not at all. It is openly and above board an effort on the part of a speaker to get the people in the audience to feel what he is feeling.
Some men make out like they are ashamed of their emotions. Actually they are not. They merely are not accustomed to sharing their feelings. Inwardly this man who makes out he is ashamed of his emotions, takes a great deal of pride in thinking his unexpressed emotion is far stronger than the one so freely expressed. It is like flattering the man who boasts he cannot be flattered by telling him what a grand thing it is to be above flattery.
Is there a man whom nothing is a feeling? We would not venture an answer to that. We have met some men who seemed mighty hardhearted and to have hearts so hard no emotion could ever flow out of them. We have wondered if anything ever became a feeling to them. We do not know the answer.
One thing is certain. You cannot think yourself into action and you cannot reason yourself into action. You must feel yourself into action.
---Henry Arnold “H.A.” Stallings, Waycross Journal-Herald, Waycross, Ga., May 25, 1945.
“Encouragement is the oxygen of the soul.”
That statement by a public leader recently ought to be engraved indelibly on the mind and heart of every individual. …
No individual ever moves forward except because of encouragement from some other person. An individual must have his own approval, it is true. But the individual who never has any approval except his own is going to be unable to achieve success.
If you know an individual who has achieved success in any line or in any quality or in any way you can be certain that individual somewhere along the line received encouragement from outside sources.
That is one of the outstanding tributes to Mother Love, which is the greatest of all human forces. Where is the child who has come to twenty-one years of age who has not over and over again, no matter what the circumstances, no matter what the type of the child, received encouragement from the Mother. It has occurred not once but many times that even when all others fail to do so, the Mother will seek to encourage the child.
Necessity can force a man to work, but it takes encouragement and approval to enable any man or any woman to do successful work. Have you ever watched a man or a woman seeking desperately and necessitously to keep on working in the absence of any approval? If so, you have seen desperate work, necessary work, but you have not seen brilliant, successful work. The most that can be said of such work is that it is a stop-gap, holding things together until approval and encouragement come and work their wonders.
The weirdest and most inexplicable of all theories is that no person merits encouragement, commendation or approval for doing what he is paid to do or for doing what he is supposed to do. The world moves forward and the individual moves forward only when a person who is paid does more than he is paid to do; only when the person who is supposed to do something does more than he is supposed to do. It is encouragement, alone, that has the power to enable an individual to do more than he is paid to do and to do more than he is supposed to do. Without that encouragement any individual and all individuals do only what they are paid to do and only what they are supposed to do. Just as certainly as the sun rises and sets the individual who does only what he is paid to do begin doing less than he is paid to do and the individual who does only what he is supposed to do begins doing less than he is supposed to do. That is the beginning of failure. It is only the magic of encouragement that can prevent this beginning of failure.
That is why we have such a profound contempt for the individual who says he is self-made. He deliberately is refusing to give credit to those who have encouraged and aided him. To say that you are self-made is to be guilty of ingratitude, the basest quality that can enter into a man’s character.
The human heart is one machine that cannot get along on its own power. It must have outside power. Knowing that, remembering what encouragement has meant to you, why not resolve that you are not going to be the individual who withholds praise, who hands out no commendation, who grants no encouragement. Whenever you do that you have done what you can to induce failure, to start a failure, to enlarge a failure. That is a law that had no exceptions.
---Henry Arnold “H.A.” Stallings, Waycross Journal-Herald, Waycross, Ga., Feb. 18, 1941.
We offer for your consideration the word “concourage.” “To encourage” means literally to put new heart into a person, to be able by word or deed or association to give unto another the heart to go ahead with what is faced.
It would be helpful if there could be mutual encouragement; if in gratitude to the person who has been able to give you new heart, you, in turn , could be able to give to that person new heart. In that way an encouragement pair could be formed and neither one of the pair would ever run out of the heart so much needed for tasks and difficulties and tribulations and sacrifices.
“Con” means together, and so a “Concourager” would be a person banded together with another or with several other persons with the result that each encouraged the other and each received encouragement from the others.
If every person resolved to be a concourager and to form a concouragement pair of group, it would be a very fortunate thing for all.
That is difficult. It is not every person who can put heart into you. Indeed, only a few an. Likewise to only a few can you give heart. It is a rare association, better perhaps an association severely limited for every person. Many people who like cannot give you heart. Often you have desired to give heart to one you like only to find out you could not.
It is a poignant moment to be in the presence of one who needs heart, to whom you would gladly give heart, only to find yourself unable to summon out of your willingness any word, any deed that will. Then, as never before, you are conscious of human limitations.
Yet fortunately there is in the acquaintance circle of every person at least one, sometimes more, who do have the ability to give new heart, to grant the encouragement when encouragement is sorely needed; happily, there is always at least one to whom you can give heart.
Therefore if you secretly, quietly, but purposely keep yourself aware and on the hopeful search you may come upon the coincidence; you may find the person who can give you heart to whom in equal measure you can give heart. That makes a helpful pair. And then, when you have found this pairing you can pledge yourself that you will furnish the care and the attention and the cultivating and the thoughtfulness and the remembrance and the solicitude and the sympathy and the gratefulness that will preserve this pair.
That is not easy. Human association is a fragile thing. It can be damaged at any moment. It can be broken at any moment. It never has the strength to keep on without thoughtful cultivation. If there is aught on earth to warrant astonishment it is the sheer fragility of human associations. Never had one had the strength to survive neglect.
We need secret props all the time. [Life] brings human strains and pulls. Yet it is these little human strains and tugs that never will we clothe in words that bring us the need for new heart, for encouragement, for one to whom we can turn for new heart.
It may be, that while you will never be told of it, someone is turning to you for new heart. Be a concourager.
---Henry Arnold “H.A.” Stallings, Waycross Journal-Herald, Waycross, Ga., March 29, 1943.
The most understandable meaning of “to encourage” is “to pour courage into.”
Probably if we understood the significance of that meaning, we would never let a day go by without giving encouragement to somebody.
May it not be that the surest way to grasp the meaning of encouragement is to approach it negatively.
I think it would be safe to say that no person on earth if he were discouraged every day would be able to keep from having an inferiority complex.
We may congratulate ourselves that we do not discourage people. Maybe not. But we may come dangerously close to producing the same effect by withholding encouragement.
Could a person who had never received a word of encouragement keep from having an inferiority complex?
No person with an inferiority complex has the slightest chance of making a success.
To what extent have you made failures out of people by withholding from them any encouragement whatsoever?
Could you have done so well as you have done if from the time you were born to the present moment nobody had ever spoken a word of encouragement to you?
In return for the encouragement that enabled you to make a success, how many people have you helped succeed by the encouragement you gave them?
That is an eminently fair question because the overwhelmingly great majority of people refuse to bestow praise; refuse to pay tribute; refuse to utter a complimentary word; refuse to say “well done;” refused to extend encouragement.
In return for having been helped to make a success, these people make it just as difficult as they can for anybody else to make a success.
There are three reasons for this.
So many people who have been helped to make a success claim they made the success themselves and really believe they did. They actually overlook help extended them and honestly believe in the bottom of their hearts that their success came only because of their own efforts.
Second, these people make out that if they praise a person they give him the big head. They do not every really believe this. It is nothing more than a flimsy excuse.
Third, these people actually get more pleasure out of criticizing a person than out of praising him. They are built that way. It comes instinctively to them to criticize a person, to ride a person, to drive a person but it is a matter of the utmost difficulty for them to praise a person.
Probably such a person is saying: “I made my own success. You make your own success.”
There is one fatal flaw with that. Never since the world was created has any person unaided attained success.
It is an absolute impossibility for any person to achieve success by his own efforts.
The person who claims to be responsible for his own success is so anxious to prove to you he is a big man he deliberately fails to mention any help he received for fear you might think that if he received help that proves he is a smaller man. All it proves is that he is not yet big enough to acknowledge help much less big enough to be grateful for help.
There is a fatal flaw in any man who says he achieved success by his own efforts.
He is a stranger to truth; he is a stranger to gratitude; he is a stranger to appreciation; he resents the success of another as a reflection on his own success. No bigger calamity can happen to a man than for him to feel that he achieved success by his own efforts.
If men actually could be self-made, it would cease to be possible for there to be a heaven on this earth anywhere in the universe. Living with others would be an intolerable experience.
---Henry Arnold “H.A.” Stallings, Waycross Journal-Herald, Waycross, Ga., June 12, 1942.