I just started reading ADMIRED: 21 Ways to Double Your Value by Mark C. Thompson and Bonita S. Thompson. Chapter 8 is entitled The Power of Praise. I am thinking – yes, praise is wonderful. In an online classroom, it goes a long way when you tell a struggling student that she is getting so much better with her writing or participation in classroom discussions. In a brick and mortar classroom, you can praise a student for submitting his homework on time (since that was quite an issue for the first three months). As teachers, we can also praise the parents for sending his/her kid with a carrot or apple in a lunch bag instead of the usual Snickers Bar.
The book quantifies “praise” as a way of giving respect. I thought about it. Yes, praise is about giving respect and adding value to someone and “adding value” is the main reason why I bought the book. We can come up with so many ways to add value to others. Someone told me long time ago, that we all wake up with say, 8 marbles. Every time someone puts us down or criticizes us, we lose one marble. Every time someone praises us or thanks us for doing a good job, we gain one marble. Imagine a person going to sleep at night with no marbles at all. That is a sad predicament for anyone.
So, whether we are communicating in the cyber world or face-to-face, we need to think about adding value to the people that we talk to. You know, even when the lady messed up my order at Pick Up Stix yesterday, I said it’s okay, and I thanked her. A waitress served my family last week and she did a great job juggling our orders (we have a 24 year old and an 18 year old who require appetizers, with their main course and desserts, and prefer to substitute their French fries with onion rings). When I signed the bill, I wrote Thanks, you did great! I sure hope she slept with a ton of marbles that night.
Most people are on the world, not in it – having no conscious sympathy or relationship to anything about them – undiffused, separate, and rigidly alone like marbles of polished stone, touching but separate~ John Muir
Let’s try to get as many marbles as we can. Better yet, let’s make sure others have more marbles than they woke up with before they go to bed tonight.