Adolescence is the most impressionable, emotional, and memorable stage of our life. ¹ While the words said to us and the actions done to us there have the ability to haunt us, they can also help us. As Oak Park High School shows, the attitudes and lives of young people can be greatly impacted by a few, genuine statements. It requires no formal permission slip or trophy ceremony. Every person deserves this kind of love at home and in school. The gift of acknowledgement cultivates kindness, learning, and achievement. Let this serve not only as an example of inspiring youth but also our spouses, co-workers, friends, and neighbors.
At this very moment, pause. Take five minutes to think of someone who you appreciate, respect, and love. Someone who has impacted your day, your character, your path, or your perspective. Then tell them. Eyeball-to-eyeball. Over the phone. Through a handwritten note. We all have the power to encourage others. Choose to express an attitude of gratitude. With consideration, authenticity, and the right timing, you might just impact someone’s life for the better!