Was Encouragement the Difference?


The following two tidbits come from Glen Van Ekeren’s “Speakers Source Book.” Star Daily is a man who became prominent in England as a notorious, vicious killer, a hardened armed robber whose difficulty can be traced to his childhood.

His teacher routinely called on him to stand and read a passage in front of the class. Unfortunately, Star was a very poor reader, self-conscious, shy and inhibited, and the harder he tried the more he failed.

On one occasion, he was having a particularly difficult time, and open laughter erupted in the classroom. Even his sister buried her head in laughter and embarrassment. The teacher, too, was working at hiding her laughter when he turned to her for support.

At this point, young Star Daily exploded in anger and threw a book against the wall, screaming as he left: “One day, you will fear me. You will hate me, but this will be the last time you laugh at me.” The rest — as the saying goes — is history.

By contrast, Rickey Henderson received encouragement — not ridicule — from Lou Brock and countless others. The word “encouragement” means “to put courage into.” It’s the fuel that provides the support people need to pursue their dreams.

Example: According to an article in USA Today, Lou left baseball in 1979 but followed Henderson’s remarkable career with excitement. The day Henderson tied Lou Brock’s record for most stolen bases in a career, Brock was quoted as saying: “I’ll be there. Do you think I’m going to miss it? Rickey did in 12 years what took me 19. He’s amazing!”

Can’t you just imagine the encouragement Rickey felt, knowing that Brock, the man whose record he was about to break, was there to support him? That’s encouragement.

Take Lou Brock’s approach to life — be an encourager — and I’ll definitely see you at the top!

To find out more about Zig Ziglar and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Creators.com. Subscribe to Zig Ziglar’s free email newsletter through info@zigziglar.com.

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