Prayer is not asking for what you think you want, but asking to be changed in ways you can’t imagine.
- Kathleen Norris
My daughter Maggie just finished a five-week drama intensive. Sixteen kids ages 13-17, six days a week, for six to ten hours a day. By week four the participants were utterly exhausted. And then, because they were teens (or perhaps because they are human beings), someone did something hurtful to others.
Fortunately a parent was paying attention, and in addition to reporting the problem to the director of the program, suggested a solution.
During the days leading up to the final show, the kids were given an assignment: to choose at least three people in the program they didn’t know well, and to write each of them a letter about something they’d valued about that person.
The effect was amazing. After the closing performance, each participant received a packet of letters. It was terrific for the kids to read what others had noticed–and appreciated–about them. Not only that, they all felt closer to–and kinder toward–the people to whom they’d written.
There’s something about remembering the good someone else has done you that changes your heart for the better.
There’s something even greater in sharing those observations with the person whose strengths you’ve appreciated. It’s a simple, effective way to “encourage one another and build each other up.”
You can do it by mail, or phone, or email or text. It’s a simple way to make the world a better place and your heart glad. Try it.
Julia Attaway is a freelance writer, homeschooler and mother of five. She is the editor of Daily Guideposts: Your First Year of Motherhood, a book of devotions for first-time moms. She lives in New York.