Saturday, February 26, 2011

February 26, 2011


Do you know what it means to edify another person? It means to build up that person, to lift up, or to help make that person a better person. We all have had people in our lives who have edified us in one way or another.

My first grade teacher, Mrs. Kahl, was a wonderful edifier. I was extremely shy in school especially when I was first starting out, but Mrs. Kahl saw in me a whole lot of potential. She always encouraged me to do my best and to follow my dreams. Years later my mom told me a story about how Mrs. Kahl told her that I was the best singer in that first grade class; however, I was too shy to sing out strong. She told my mom about another girl in my class who couldn't sing a lick and wanted to sing every chance she could, but she said I could sing, but I sat in my seat and would never raise my hand to do so. When my mom told me this when I was in high school, that news really made me feel good about my singing, so the next chance I got to sing a solo in chorus, I took that opportunity and received a standing ovation.

You may feel that you have never had anyone to edify you in your lifetime, but I bet if you think back to your childhood, I bet you could think of at least one person who helped build up your character or morals. Some of us do not have a strong family structure, and our parents may have never been there to help nurture that positive self-esteem that we needed. And sometimes, our siblings try to tear us down instead of build us up.

No matter what kind of childhood you had good or bad, we can learn from what others gave us or did not give us. Be there for others and help to edify someone today. Just a kind word of encouragement can go a long way. We never know what kind of home life a person has, and it may appear on the outside that everything is fine and dandy at home, but sometimes it is a totally different situation behind closed doors. Encourage someone to be the best that they possibly can be. Tell them that they are a good person and that they have a lot of potential.

I used to work at a Juvenile Detention Center, and I was constantly trying to edify these adoloscents that made wrong choices in their lives in order to get locked up in a secure facility. Some of the kids were blown away with my willingness to encourage them. They had never had anyone in their lives to tell them that they are a good person. Many of those young adults left that detention center to never return, and word got back that they had totally turned their lives around in a positive manner.

You never know how you are going to positively influence someone else, so don't be afraid to build up another person. Don't be afraid to give out words of encouragement. You might change a life in a positive way just by getting in the habit of edifying those around you. Edify someone today! 

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