Making A Difference - Part 4

Have you ever had a dead battery in your car?   You probably had to get a jump, right? And then, what?  The battery had to get charged.

Moving from where you are to where you want to be can happen in a moment, as long as you know where you are. If you have a dead battery and you start kicking the tires to get the car started, chances are you might be there for a long time. Once you can see what the problem is, then you have a much better chance of finding the solution.

Most people are kicking the tires, screaming at their car, yelling at their kids, fighting with family members, or talking negatively about their employees, bosses or managers at the water cooler - all because they are frustrated and want something more and often are in a quandary to find out what’s wrong.  Often it’s been a long time since these people received any praise or acknowledgment for what they do and therefore their self-esteem is low. Kids also fit this description.    A study was done of one thousand students, grades 6 to 12 to find out what they would like to see from teachers.  I believe the results could apply to other situations as well.


1. Smile when you see me.

2. Call me by name.

3. Let me know that you missed me when I was absent.

4.Recognize my special talents even if they don’t show up on my report card.

5. Notice what I am doing right and acknowledge me.

6. Give me a chance to succeed in at least one small way each day.

7. If you don’t like something that I do, help me by sandwiching correction between two slices of praise.

8. Encourage my dreams and aspirations and root me on.

9. Encourage me to aim high.

10. Give me a sincere handshake, a thumbs up or a hug and tell me to keep on keeping on.


There is a tribe in Africa that totally shifts our paradigm about being judgmental and about punishment. When someone in the tribe does something to harm themselves or others, it is the tribe’s philosophy that the only reason a person does something bad is because they’ve lost sight of their goodness.

To put them back on track, they make a circle around the perpetrator and begin to tell him all the great things that they admire about him. They remind him of the successes he has had in his life.  They tell him about the special times when his good deeds truly helped them out and the difference it made. The last thing they do is embrace the person, rocking him until he weeps, cleansing his heart and mind.  

Imagine if we began such a process when our children were little. What difference might it have made in their lives. What difference it might have made in yours.


To sum up:


People want to know they matter.

         Acknowledgment does what money and material good can’t do.

         Acknowledgment elevates people to discover a new level of self.

         Acknowledgment soars people to new heights, to believing that by using our higher God mind, everything is possible.


Note from Dick: These ideas and thoughts were inspired by Helice Bridges.




Personal note:  Today my mom, a huge shaper of my morals and faith,would have been 113 years old.

t the la     © Dick Caldwell 2012