posted in my father’s book he edited in 1995 … Comfort and Encouragement
I believe encouragement is the basis of motivation for all of us. It allows goals to be achieved with enthusiasm. Self-motivation must become part of our life. Without encouragement little can or will be achieved. We all need to learn to develop initiative and drive to succeed in life. With experience we will learn to develop and set achievable goals. Nothing kills enthusiasm quicker than failure because of unachievable goals.
From infancy, encouragement can ensure skills, which we all possess, to be developed for good or evil. Encouragement comes from acknowledgment, by example or by word of mouth. In the young particularly, achievements must be constantly acknowledged or rewarded to give encouragement. However, we must never lose sight of the ability level of the person with whom we are dealing. Was it the very best the person could do? To acknowledge what has been achieved, especially when tempered by love and understanding, brings encouragement.
Criticism is the most harmful of all approaches in most instances, especially if someone has made an effort to achieve within the scope of their ability. In today’s society, we all need encouragement in whatever we do. We need to know that what we are doing is acknowledged and appreciated.