North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

Opinion

January 30, 2013

Danielle Cater: Encourage or discourage — your words matter

COMMENTARY — Would you be classified as an encourager or a discourager? This past weekend, I was reminded of what a difference our input has on those around us. Your actions and comments have a heavy bearing on the people around you whether you realize it or not.

Just think of the high school student who is full of excitement to tell their teacher of their decision to follow their example and become a teacher themselves. They approach the conversation with fire in their eyes as they dream of filling the minds of their own students one day. Then the teacher snarkily remarks, “Well, I hope you don’t like making money then.”

That conversation could have a life changing influence on that student. Our reaction to others effects them.

I’ve noticed in the past couple of months that people’s reactions can weigh heavy on your mind even if you don’t care to think about it. Your thoughts matter to those closest to you, so be careful about how you react and display your innermost feelings.

We have the power to encourage those around us to do great things, or we have the power to pour water all over their fire and vigor and leave them feeling stupid and useless to accomplish what they had in their heart to do.

A little word of encouragement may be all that your child needs in order to be better at baseball, but if you are constantly letting them know what they did wrong on every play, they may never want to try to get better.

Use positive reinforcement and see if that doesn’t make a difference, not only in the child, but also in your relationship with him or her. This could also be applied to our work relationships. Think of the employees who have an idea to improve company sales. When they pitch the idea to the boss, they have the power to give them the tools to make the idea take off and see what happens, or they can discourage the employees and make them feel like they wasted their time to even bring the idea up. When we feel like we can’t do anything good to better our circumstances, we get in a rut and that leads to unhappy employees and disgruntled individuals.

This principle could also apply to married couples. Think of the newly engaged couple who wants nothing more than to just be together. They hold hands and steal every kiss they can sneak in. They think of each other throughout the day and anxiously await their date nights together. When you see them, you can either congratulate them on the happiness that they have found, or you can say things like, “Well, that will wear off soon.” or “Just wait until the honeymoon is over.” What good does it do to try to discourage people?

If someone has discouraged you lately, use it as an opportunity to prove them wrong. Student, keep your excitement and get that teaching degree. Child, practice hard so that you can be MVP next year in baseball. Employee, keep coming up with new and innovative ideas, and engaged couple, keep the honeymoon going past the fiftieth anniversary. Instead of letting nay-sayers throw water on your fire, use it as gasoline to fan the flames. 

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Danielle Cater: What kind of banana are you?

    They say what goes in is what comes out. I’ve heard it said, “Garbage in, garbage out.” There’s a lot of truth to that statement right there.

    July 28, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Bass fishing is just in my blood

    I was born the daughter of a fisherman. My dad was the pastor of a local church and the manager at various Jefferson County Waste Water Treatment plants, but anyone who knows him, knows he is a fisherman at heart.

    July 21, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Making memories not that hard

    Do you spoil your kids? Do you spend enough on them? What really matters when it comes to the well-being of your children? These questions are real doozies and I think the answers vary according to the family.

    July 9, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Graduation leads to hard decisions

    The caps and gowns are ordered, the invitations have been mailed. Checks are being written all across the country, it must be graduation time.

    May 29, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Longevity in marriage still possible

    I have officially seen it with my own eyes. I have witnessed it with my own life. Yes, I have seen a couple who has been married 60 years and still love each other. Even more than that, they still respect each other and still genuinely love to be around each other.

    May 27, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: ‘Girl in the front’ loves her job

    I’m 33 years old. Yes, I just admitted that. The reason I throw this fact out there so freely is that I have now, officially, been working for the North Jefferson News for over 10 years. That’s right, almost 1/3 of my life has been spent behind this desk. (And yes, I’ve had the same desk all 10 years.)

    May 27, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: What memories are you leaving?

    Death hurts. It hurts when it hits close to home and it hurts when it hits the people who are closest to you.

    May 27, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Life is precious from the beginning

    The media is all abuzz this week over the story of a woman who apparently gave birth to seven babies in the last 10 years without anyone’s knowledge, then killed her babies and stored them in boxes in her garage.

    April 24, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Be strong in moments of weakness

    A sad scene took place on Sunday at a church in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The founding pastor of Calvary Chapel stepped down from his position of head pastor due to “moral failing which disqualifies him from continuing his leadership role at the church.” This church is home to over 20,000 members who worship together in 10 locations across Florida.

    April 15, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Old dogs can learn new tricks

    You’re never too old to learn something new. I’m of the opinion that you can, indeed, teach an old dog new tricks.
    So as an old dog, I’ve been trying to pick up a new trick.

    April 7, 2014