I can be motivated by the words you say to me, be it negative or positive, but what if the negative is what I believe. Be in the spirit of lifting up not pulling down. Our words matter.
There is power in our words. We have to be mindful of the things that we say to others, especially when we are trying to get them to do the right thing. It has been said that some people are motivated when you tell them what they will not become. There is some truth in that, but you have to remember, not everyone is motivated the same way. On my quest to empower I stopped at a gentleman’s house whom my mother use to do domestic work for. It was the second house that I stopped at that day. In fact, all of the stops were heart felt Everywhere I went that day I was able to share my heart as we spoke on what needs to be done to empower our young people today, and how I, myself, have been able to overcome adversity. Needless to say it was hard, and hard doesn’t even begin to explain the extent to which my challenges were.
I want to share with you today two things that I learned from each of my encounters in regards to beating adversity. The first stop was with my childhood neighbor and it was the most touching to me. He’s old school and we talked throughout our conversation about having ambition and never giving up. The second and third homes that I stopped at also mentioned that having ambition helps you make it past the worst situations. They also spoke of the importance of the choices we make and respecting ourselves.
Let’s get back to the gentleman that my mother had done domestic work for. During our conversation a young man that lived at the house came and asked for something and it was not given to him. I noticed that instead of saying what good was in this young man, it was the negative thing that he was doing that were repeated to him. He wasn’t being disrespectful at that instant, but he was reminded of previous times. We have a choice to dwell on what people have done or not. People who you want to influence for the better will remember whatever you say to them, whether positive or negative. So say something encouraging. Remember, one encouragement can change their perspective forever. Later in our conversation the young man came back. I turned to him and began to tell him what I think he can become. I told him that it is possible for him to become whatever he wants to be. I realized that the young man took a seat and there was a sudden change in his demeanor from being defensive to calm and relaxed. I am not saying the young man changed all of his habits in an instant, but because of the encouragement, he took the time to listen.
To get to our young people we may have to change our approach. We must go from demeaning the person to encouraging them and see if we’ll get a better response. Upon leaving the house the young man walked with me to the gate and thanked me for what I said to him. He promised that he will be better in his behavior, and he told me he wants to become a pilot. The fact is, when you choose to see the good in others, you can’t help but see the good in yourself. Wherever you are today, whatever your circumstances are, you have to make the best of what you have in order to make the best of you.
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