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