You manage things, you lead people
Grace Murray Hopper

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Positive Inspirational Stories

Featured Inspirational Story - August 1st to September 30th 2012

Encouragement works

At one point during a game, the coach said to one of his young players, 'Do you understand what cooperation is? What a team is?' The little boy nodded yes.' 'Do you understand that what matters is whether we win together as a team?" The little boy nodded yes.

'So,' the coach continued, 'when a strike is called, or you are out at first, you don't argue or curse or attack the umpire. Do you understand all that?' Again, the boy nodded yes.

'Good,' said the coach. 'Now go over there and explain it to your mother.'

What the coach wanted the boy's mother to understand is that encouragement is vital to success. Encouragement builds teams and also builds esteem. Encouragement works. In fact, the right kind of encouragement, at the right time, can change a life.

Author Ron Dunn tells the story of two altar boys. One was born in 1892 in Eastern Europe. The other was born just three years later in a small town in Illinois, USA. Though their lives were quite different, these two boys shared a similar experience.

Each altar boy assisted his parish priest in the celebration of Mass. While handling the chalice during Holy Eucharist, they both accidentally spilled some of the wine on the carpet.

But this is where their stories diverge. The priest in the Eastern European church, seeing the purple stain, slapped the altar boy across the face and shouted, 'Clumsy oaf! Leave the altar.' He did. The little boy grew up to become the atheist and communist dictator of Yugoslavia, Josip Broz Tito.

The priest in the church in Illinois, upon seeing the wine stain, knelt down beside the boy and looked him tenderly in the eyes and said, 'It's all right, son. You'll do better next time. You'll be a fine priest for God someday.' That little boy grew up to become the much loved Bishop Fulton J. Sheen.

We will never know how much a kind and encouraging word from the priest, or the lack of one, influenced these boys' lives. But kindness and instruction are always far more valuable than anger and criticism.

Encouragement works.

Written by Steve Goodier

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