Healing Balm in My Suitcase

I recently read a book by a school teacher of 35 years. In Positive Words Powerful Results, Hal Urban shared the difference he saw in students when he stood by the door and greeted each by name as they entered his class. Grades and attendance went up.

He made sure to ask a questions that had to be answered with more than a “yeah” or “naw.”

  • What’s the best thing that happened to you today?
  • What’re you looking forward to after school?
  • Got plans for the weekend?

He also made time for concerns, but  he taught thousands of college and high school students to focus on the positive because the negative parts of a day are loud and tend to drown out everything else.

We’ve been trained by Hollywood to look for negatives. Positive newcasts are boring and won’t sell advertising. Every writer knows that conflict keeps the reader engaged and moves the plot forward. What if Harry Potter had killed Voldemort in the first book?

Nobody gets more negativity dumped on him than John McClain in the Die Hard Movies, talk about a guy ALWAYS being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Dwellling on the downside of life makes for entertaining movies and books, but ask anyone

  • who can’t find a job
  • who is suffering and dying
  • who is going through divorce or loss
  • who is afraid

They would like to be free of the constant drag of negative thoughts and worries.

So, during this 40-day Lenten journey, I’m trying to add healing words to my traveling bag. I’m finding it takes time and some thought. Apologies are difficult.  Compliments—are not so easy with some folks. Encouragement—awk!! Even for the person I avoid?

I’m discovering, I need to yank some negative junk out of my suitcase and fill it with positive words.

And that’s why Lent is a journey. Thanks for coming with me.

What’s in your traveling bag?

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”
— Mother Teresa

About Barb

I escaped from a hardscrabble farm in Oklahoma. I'm not sure why people think I have an accent. I miss the sunshine, but not the fried foods.
This entry was posted in Appreciation, Hope, Lent, Life and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Healing Balm in My Suitcase

  1. Rose says:

    Hi Barb,
    I awarded you the silver lining award on my blog!! You can save the image to your desktop and add to your site. Then award 5 others!


    • Barb says:

      body{font-family: Geneva,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif;font-size:10pt;font-family:arial,sans-serif;background-color:#ffffff;color:black;}p{margin:0px}Wow Rose,Thanks. I’m touched.B.—–Original Message—–>From: “comment-reply@wordpress.com” >Sent: Mar 17, 2010 9:18 PM>To: elanvital7@earthlink.net>Subject: [Before Morning Breaks] Comment: “Healing Balm in My Suitcase”>>


  2. Alice Lynn says:

    You always give me a lift,affirming that we can be a force for goodness, kindness, and resilience even in the face of loss. A reminder to be a candle in a naughty world. You are such an inspiration!


  3. Rose Lefebvre says:

    You are right Roxie, it rains on the good and bad in life. We all get rained on, some maybe a bit more than others. I had someone say to me, “If bad things happen in your life, it is Karma and you are being paid back for bad you have done.”
    I do not believe that. Even the very best of people have bad things happen to them. I have been through some rough times and do not feel that “I deerved it.” It is never easy, but the way you handle it can be a learning experience.


  4. Roxie says:

    In my traveling bag? The motto, “If it isn’t fun, then at least it’ll be a good story.” AND, the motto,”Why not?”

    Many people seem to feel a sense of outrage that bad things should happen in their lives. “We’ve lived virtuous lives, always tried to do the right thing, now someone steals our identity and we’re ruined. Why us, Lord?” Why not? The rain falls on the just and the unjust. Bad things DO happen to good people. If I walk down this narrow dark alley, why SHOULDN’T I get mugged? On the other hand, if I want to take off my shoes and wade in the fountain with all the kids, why not? (I have a very happy memory of a couple of Japanese businessmen in neat dark suits with the pants rolled up, carrying their shoes and socks and walking barefoot down Waikiki beach.)

    Don’t forget to slather that healing balm on yourself, kiddo. Wallow in it. YOU are a good person!!


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