Excerpts from the book by Hugh Hewitt.
The 7 gifts
Encouragement doesn't require sainthood or even-sainthood, just an eye for accomplishment and/or effort in the willingness to remark upon it in a habitual, indiscriminate but truthful fashion.
"If you can't play hurt, don't play the game", James Carville.
It is a puzzle as to who decides to live with energy and who doesn't, but my belief is that either way, it is a choice. Yes, fatigue sets in. And yes, the events of the day or week can grind and slow you down, but the willingness to change is a choice. It is a learned behavior. It can be taught if it is modeled.
Energy is what the living give to the living.
Enthusiasm is, as the cliché goes, contagious. But like colds, it requires contact; and some folks do their best to avoid infection. This is where judicious this comes in.
Never ask a friend to dive deep with you. Ask him or her to come to the shore once or twice to watch. Marathoner can take a friend 4 mile walk – jog along the favorite path, horsemen new before first ride, Hunter a city boy for an early – morning for.
Most of the time these efforts to share a passion will be as unrequited as a seventh grade crush. But when the click and the connection is made in the passion passed, the arc of a life changes, and it changes for the good, for the very great good.
You are qualified to give the gift of empathy to those with whom you share a terrible experience, but that is mere qualification. Beyond identity of experience and proximity, empathy requires action. It is the gift of real understanding coupled with the concrete effort to help someone carry some specific burden. Empathy leads to the willingness to suffer alongside someone in a way that is far more profound and more difficult than mere morning.
Good humor is an attitude that reflects inner joy of being alive, or having a chance today to shine or love will be loved. It is happiness of the soul made manifest on the face and in the voice of the bearer.
The most enjoyable people are inevitably gracious folks. It's a quality easy to spot impossibly hard to define. It is far more complicated than politeness, far more complex than the effortless display of fine manners and courtesy. Graciousness is the art of making people feel comfortable and included, appreciated and even admired. It is an elevating thing, the opposite of arrogance, the compliment to humility.
There is such inevitable grief that the practice of gratitude is all that can provide the necessary armor.
The 7 givers