Just some thoughts:
I think possibly the best thing one can receive from another is forgiveness. Second to that gift I think might be: Praise.
“But the kindest thing Harry Jenks ever did for me was to come to William Jewel College Dinner theater production of A Thurber Carnival. I was playing piano in the pit band because there wasn’t anyone else in the music department who could play jazz well enough to get through the part. Next to Harry, my playing was hopelessly amateurish, and I would never have dreamed of inviting him to come. Pam and Dee Dee didn’t bother to ask me they just brought him along one night. He cleaned his plate, laughing heartily at the actors he could not see; he praised me to the skies afterward, giving me a bear hug that made me want to cry.”
City Limits–Terry Teachout
“He praised me to the skies afterward, giving me a bear hug that made me want to cry.”
In John Feinstein’s book Open he relates a story about my very good friend Tom Meeks and Tom’s first efforts growing up in Lawrenceville, Illinois and learning to be a caddy at the local nine-hole Lawrence County Country Club. (Which by the way is one of my favorite places to play.)
“First time I worked I was carrying for a guy named Mr. Muskie. I had an awful time. I couldn’t figure out how to carry the bag. It kept slipping and sliding off my shoulder. I had no clue what I was doing.” Tom says when the round was finished he figured Mr. Muskie would never ask him again to be his caddy. Not so, to Tom’s surprise, “Mr. Muskie handed me a dollar and said, ‘Tom, you worked really hard and I enjoyed being with you.” Of that encounter, Tom would say, ” If he hadn’t been so nice, who knows if I’d have every really gotten involved in golf.”
“You worked hard and I really enjoyed being with you.”
Praise and encouragement are powerful. In fact they can be life changing. Be generous with it, to people you meet and especially to youth.
June 1, 2018
Posted January 9, 2019