Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Encourage, don't Discourage

People should build each other up, not tear each other down. You will meet discouragers and encouragers in your life. Stick with the encouragers, not the people who tell you what you're dreaming of isn't possible, that the odds are way against you, that you're na├»ve for even attempting such a thing. These people are dream killers, and if you listen to them long enough, you'll start to believe them, and then you'll give up.

Surround yourself with friends who tell you, "You can do it. Go for it!." Because even if you don't accomplish what you set out to do, at least you gave yourself the opportunity to make it happen. One thing is certain: If you never try, you'll never achieve your goal. If you do try and fail, so what? Try a different approach. You won't have to wonder for the rest of your life, was that possible? Could I have done that?

Did your mom ever tell you, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all?" It's true. Negative words can stop action in its tracks. Positive words can inspire action. Of course there are exceptions. If someone's plans will harm them or cause harm to others, then you have to speak the truth to them, but as much as you can, be an encourager. Strengthen someone's dreams, don't destroy them with discouraging, "It'll never work" words.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Music Brings Us Together

What do you get when you combine a free concert in the park and people of four different generations? Unity. Community. Common ground.  If everybody knows the lyrics to a song, suddenly they're all speaking the same language, and enjoying the moment together. There can be a huge difference in their ages, and it doesn't matter, because they're all having fun listening to familiar tunes. For some, they remember the songs from their youth. For younger people, they've heard the songs in a movie, or maybe they've listened to their parents' music and (gasp!) liked it. Classic rock and groups like the Beatles never go out of style.
Anything that brings people together rather than emphasizing how different we are, is a good thing. There's enough conflicting opinions today, enough of the "what's in it for me?" mentality, enough trouble in general in our overbooked lives.

So if you get a chance to step off the treadmill of your never ending schedule, go out on a warm summer night and listen to a concert. And don't feel silly about singing along, because if you look around you, lots of others will be singing too. And you'll feel it: a common bond with people you don't know. All because of music.