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Everyone needs encouragement, whether it’s getting through an illness, problems at work, facing up to a new challenge or completely stepping outside of our comfort zones.

EncouragementToday my little boy faces one of his biggest challenges yet. Today he will play in his first recital. I’ve known the nerves have been there for the last couple of weeks and have gradually been growing and growing as today has drawn closer, but I’ve tried to play it down in some ways, encourage him in others and above everything, make him feel that it is not about getting it absolutely perfect, it’s about having the courage to try something new.

Children are a glorious gift. They come into our lives a blank canvas and we, their parents, carers, extended family, teachers and coaches are responsible for imprinting messages and behaviours. How we treat them, how we respond to their needs, sets them up for their future. I firmly believe that their innate character has a lot to do with their particular path in life, but without positive affirmation in a loving, safe environment, we have disabled them before they’ve even begun their journey of life.

We see the effects of negative influencers on children every day. You just have to switch on the news or listen to the radio to hear about babies, toddlers, youths being bashed, mistreated or killed; or doing horrendous things to each other that you wonder how on earth they even knew to do such things. These are the future adults who will be responsible for our planet and civilisation, yet I often marvel, and to be honest, get angry, when I hear about how they are treated.

I recently came across a quote by Anne Frank, “Everyone has inside them a piece of good news. The good news is you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is.”

I was deeply saddened this week to hear about that family that gave up everything in search of a new, better, safer life for their children. But their journey stopped abruptly out on the open ocean when two beautiful little boys and their mother drowned. The heart-wrenching image of a tiny body washed up on the beach. The tears of a father who’s hopes and dreams have been brutally stolen from him.

So today, I will pause to appreciate the wonder and beauty of my surroundings. Take a moment to breathe the fresh air, bask in the slightly warmer Spring sunshine. Love my little boy that much more and be grateful for the life I have been blessed with. It’s not always easy. We all have pitfalls, flaws and personal mountains to climb; but without sounding like a cliche, I firmly believe that by remaining positive, taking lessons away from failures, finding the strength, energy and courage to keep on trying, we can only ever become stronger, nicer, better people, families, individuals and citizens of this beautiful yet troubled world we call home.

In the words of Dr. Wayne Dyer who sadly passed away on 29 August, let’s remember: “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”.

Be kind to yourself, your loved ones and those around you. Be a positive beacon in what can sometimes be a dark, dreary and scary place. Open yourself up to new things. Very often we can’t see the wood for the trees, but dreams and opportunity surround us.

Hopefully that by reminding my little boy that all his hard work and practicing up to now, encouraging him and above all, loving him, will help him do his best today.


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