I’m going to divulge a man secret, a secret that makes men strong and self reliant. Little has been written about this, and you’ll know why in just a moment. Ready?
MEN DON’T NEED ENCOURAGEMENT, MEN DON’T NEED PRAISE.
Men don’t need to hear “You look nice today.” Men get no pleasure from hearing “I think that’s a great idea.” Men are indifferent to comments like “Thank you” or “I appreciate you.” Men have the ability to walk through endless deserts of criticism, hostility, pain, guilt and shame without so much as a kind word, just like a camel can endure the hottest places on earth with little water.
Women need encouragement. Children need encouragement. Heck, even dogs need encouragement, especially when they are learning a new trick. But men? God equipped men with a built in self-esteem generator that requires zero maintenance.
Which is a flaming lie.
As far as I can tell, cats alone lack the need for encouragement and praise. Cats can survive quite well with threats and curses. And the occasional shoe launched in their direction at night when they feel like singing along with some song that plays inside their heads…
Let me get back to the point.
We all need encouragement, we all need praise. This last week I was fortunate enough to receive both of those from unlikely people, unlikely because these are people I’ve never met personally. Either through a God Wink or some fantastic cosmic coincidence, I had people reach out to me at a time when I really needed it.
Lynn from Oregon shared a Bible verse with me from the Song of Solomon that says: …“The winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers have already appeared in the land…” In other words, stop looking backwards. The worst part is over and done. Look at the flowers…there is no longer slush covering the ground!
Great encouragement. Sometimes I forget to stop, much less to actually smell the roses. Thanks Lynn.
Jessica from Colorado sent me an email that said, “You are an awesome man and father.” Wow. Is there any parent anywhere ever who doesn’t melt to hear that you are a good father or mother? Let’s be honest: you’re not going to hear this from your kids (especially when they’re teenagers). But when someone commends you on your parenting, it’s like triple espresso injected into your soul.
Much needed praise. I don’t always feel like a good dad. I needed that, Jessica. Thank you.
Marty from New Jersey sent me a message about my blog: “You must be standing over my shoulder. Almost every blog you write is something that I need NOW.” Okay, that was just cool. Marty reads my blog off Facebook or LinkedIn. He’s never commented even once. But he felt compelled to send me an email to encourage and thank me. It hit the mark.
Thank you, Marty, for your praise and encouragement to keep on writing.
In addition to the “unlikely” people who reached out to me during the last week, I had some close friends pat me on the back or pick me off the floor. These people keep me grounded on a regular basis, and I can call them at any time for any reason. You know who you are. Thank you thank you thank you. I appreciate your friendship. You are gold to me.
Yes, I made this blog about me, but I did it for a good reason. I used myself as an illustration that WE ALL NEED ENCOURAGEMENT AND PRAISE (except cats, which I’ve already established).
So here’s your Monday challenge. If someone pops into your mind, BAM! Shoot ’em a quick message or give ’em a call telling ’em that. See how many people you can provide virtual or real praise or encouragement to today. And here’s my promise: it will change the day that you are going to have. And it will likely change the other person’s day, too.
So consider yourself encouraged to go encourage others. Now go. Get to work!