Friday, September 25, 2009


Inflatable children's playground - “The world is a playground, and life is pushing my swing.”

One woman tells of a time her dog disappeared. After searching diligently, she placed a "lost dog" ad in the local newspaper.

The following morning her phone rang and a weak, cracking voice began, "I'm calling about your dog." Then the caller coughed and cleared her voice a few times. She explained that she wasn't feeling well and that, in fact, she had not felt well since her husband's death three years ago. She went on to relate that her parents, too, had passed away since then and her sister was diagnosed with a fatal ailment. Even her friends, she continued, were not doing well, and she gave details of their various maladies and described the funerals of several of them.

After 30 minutes of listening, sympathizing and even trying offers of help, the dog owner steered the conversation back to the original subject. "About the dog," she began.

"Oh," the caller replied, "I don't have him. I just thought I'd call to cheer you up."

Maybe her technique needed refining, but her intentions were right on. And though "cheering up" may not be exactly what we require, we certainly need encouragement -- pulling up -- at times. A heartfelt word of encouragement will quench a spirit parched by affliction as surely as a cup of cool water will refresh a dry and thirsty throat.

The need for sincere encouragement is basic among human beings. The Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., displays the personal effects found on President Abraham Lincoln the night he was shot. They include a small handkerchief embroidered "A. Lincoln," a pen knife, a spectacle case repaired with cotton string, a Confederate five-dollar bill, and a worn-out newspaper clipping extolling his accomplishments as president. The article begins, "Abe Lincoln is one of the greatest statesmen of all time...."

Why would one of the most highly regarded leaders of American history carry around such a document? Did he not know his own worth? The answer is found in the fact that Lincoln was not as popular during his lifetime as he became after death. His leadership was under constant fire, he was frequently an object of ridicule in the press, and bitter critics dissected his every decision. He needed something to remind himself that, though battered by the disappointments of life and scorned by those he sought to lead, there were still also others who valued his contribution. There were still those, perhaps not as vocal, who believed in him. He, too, needed encouragement.

Do you need encouragement? There are those who will rally to your side. Educator Booker T. Washington observed, "There are two ways of exerting one's strength; one is pushing down, the other is pulling up." There are people ready to pull you up when others are pushing down. We need those people in our lives; those who exert their strength by pulling us up.

I believe these people can be found everywhere. I believe that we can all become "pullers," lifting one another from dark pits of discouragement to the light of hope. And when that happens, the world will never be the same.

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

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