Ah, praise. Perhaps some of you find yourself frequently encountering it; maybe it curls up with you on a cold evening or takes you out for fancy dinners on school nights. Or perhaps it even leaves little gold stars on your pillow in the morning just so your day will start with a nice spot of sparkle. I hope this is the case for you.
I hope that you are given praise at every turn with thank-yous galore. I also hope that you hear things like, "you are talented," "you are smart," "you are beautiful," "you are gifted" and "you are valuable." And I not only hope that you hear these praises, but that you feel them as well. I hope you feel them in the actions of others. I hope that in whatever job you hold, you know (and are told frequently) that your work and presence are valuable (and I hope you get regular raises). Why should we find out that we are valuable to the organizations we work for just as we leave our jobs? I hope that your friends, family, and significant other remind you that you are loved. Why does it sometimes take a crisis for us to tell each other how much we care for each other?
While I hope you are receiving buckets full of praise in your life, my guess is that you could receive much, much more of it. Sadly, praise seems to be an elusive little thing these days, hiding in the shadows, burying itself with the eight track tapes in the attic. I believe that we don't give each other enough praise -- even on a daily basis. Even the very straight-forward "good job" and "thank you" are simple, yet affecting ways to show appreciation. Oh, how many of us don't know how our actions or mere presence affect others!
So, starting today, I am on a praise campaign. I will try to remember to give warm fuzzies, kudos, and positive acknowledgment to those in my life and to those who I encounter. When I notice something beautiful, well done, or kind, I will say so. If you see a flash of light across the sky, it is me in my superhero costume (I'm "Praise Girl," of course) spreading positive feedback throughout the land.