Today is Friday, which means it’s time for Five Minute Fridays. It’s a time to write freely, without editing, for five minutes only. Hundreds of bloggers gather each week over at Lisa-Jo Baker’s blog to write on a common theme.
Today is Encouragement.
As a child, my parents always encouraged me in whatever dreams I had, big or small. Whether I wanted to be a teacher, marine biologists, laser technician, chiropractor, or who knows what else (I had lots of crazy dreams), they always tried to help me in whatever way they could. They encouraged me through study abroad, college, interning in DC, and through my decision to join to the Peace Corps in South Africa.
The encouragement and support of my parents, friends, and family made this all possible.
Once I started teaching in South Africa, I met children who had never been encouraged, never been asked to dream, and who had never been helped with homework by a family member. These children struggled in every task I assigned them, and once home, had no hope of help. When I asked them to write about their dreams and goals, I got a few responses, but most children had no idea there was more for them. They didn’t have hope of a bright future.
Encouragement is a necessity in life, and my heart broke for these children who went without. I tried to do small things to show them I cared about them, and to encourage them. A thumbs up here, a sticker there, a good job written on their homework. But I often felt as if I was fighting a losing battle, since the other teachers weren’t interested in changing their ways. I can’t change the world, but I can change my little corner of it.
The encouragement from my parents and family has given me a chance to dream big and go places I never would have imagined. I hope to help others to do the same. I strive to encourage those around me, even when I don’t feel like it or don’t want to. Because it’s not always easy. But I pray that God helps me each day.