“Isn’t that really what you’re pushing with Leave Nothing Unsaid?”
No, a thousand times no.
Over the years, I’ve seen some people reject the importance and practice of affirmation for family and friends because they equate it with the idea that “everyone gets a trophy.”
If you’re not familiar with that expression, it refers to the idea that everyone should be equally praised and rewarded for their efforts and not for their results. Some educators have even suggested doing away with grades less than “C” to protect a child’s “self-worth,” or no longer using red ink because it could be similarly damaging to a student’s fragile psyche. Please.
In my humble opinion, that mindset breeds mediocrity and a sense of entitlement.
But withholding sincere, authentic affirmation from loved ones is equally destructive. Picture the parent who is endlessly correcting or telling a child what they need to “improve,” much like a quality control expert in a manufacturing plant. Some fear that affirming a child will make them “soft.” Nothing could be further from the truth.
Why, then, is affirmation so important and life-giving? And why is it so vital to put it in writing? Here are a few reasons:
Pause for a minute and think about the people in your orbit. Who comes to mind that could use some words of encouragement and affirmation? Yes, sending a text is fine, but how about exerting just a little more effort and putting it in writing the old fashioned way…on a piece of paper, sent with a stamp! That way it can be read and re-read, and, as the saying goes, “memories fade, but ink lasts.”
Your message doesn’t need to be long. A few words of belief and some specific affirmation of what’s so special about a person could be just the lifeline they need at a difficult time in their life. We often don’t know the moments of darkness that people face. Shine some light today and send out some words of affirmation.
You’ll be glad you did.
photo credit: Giorgio Travato
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