An old saying goes: “Kind words can bring warmth that lasts for three winters, while harsh words can chill even in the heat of summer.” Comforting and exhorting words are always beneficial; a single word of encouragement can change a person’s mindset, behavior, and perhaps even their destiny. The following two stories showcase the profound truth of these words.
The power of encouragement
During her first parent-teacher meeting, a mother was informed by the kindergarten teacher that her son was suspected of having Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). “He struggles to sit in his chair for even three minutes,” the teacher explained.
On their way home, her curious son asked her about what the teacher had said.
“The teacher mentioned how you’ve improved,” she told him. “You used to struggle to sit still for even one minute, but now you can manage three. You’re making progress.”
That evening, for the first time ever, her son ate two bowls of rice all by himself. She didn’t have to feed him.
Not long after, her son began elementary school. Following a parent-teacher meeting, his teacher discreetly expressed concerns to her. “Out of fifty students, your son ranked 48th on the math exam. He may be facing some intellectual challenges,” the teacher shared.
Returning home, she gently told her son: “The teacher believes that if you pay more attention to detail, you can rank higher than 48th.”
Upon hearing this, her son’s eyes sparkled with renewed determination, his earlier despondency giving way to hope. The following day, he left for school earlier than ever.
As her son transitioned to middle school, they faced yet another inevitable parent-teacher meeting.
Before parting ways, the middle school teacher confided: “Given your son’s current academic performance, his chances of being accepted into a public high school could be quite slim.”
On their way home, she rested her hand on her son’s shoulder, reassuring him: “The teacher said, as long as you work hard, you stand a very good chance of securing a spot in a public high school.”
Eventually, her son graduated from high school. When the university admissions notifications were released, he returned home from school with a brown envelope in his hand. It held an acceptance letter from a prestigious university. With tears streaming down his face, he confessed: “Mom, I’m not a bright child, but your constant encouragement and appreciation kept me going.”
At that moment, she held her son in a tight embrace, her tears reflecting a mix of joy and relief.
The power of faith
There once was a man who, after graduating from high school and failing to get into university, married young and began teaching in a village school. Due to his inexperience, he was dismissed within a week.
Upon returning home, his wife dried his tears and comforted him. She suggested that just as some people could easily express their knowledge, others found it more difficult, and he shouldn’t despair — perhaps a better opportunity was waiting for him.
Later, he took a job outside the village, but he was let go because he worked too slowly. His wife reassured him, saying that everyone works at their own pace and, as he had been studying for so long, it was only natural he wasn’t as quick as others who had been working for years.
He attempted many jobs, quitting midway through each one. However, every time he returned home despondent, his wife would comfort him without a hint of complaint.
In his thirties, he capitalized on his talent for languages to become a counselor at a school for the deaf. Later, he founded a school for the disabled and eventually started a chain of stores selling products for disabled people in several cities. Eventually, he became a multi-millionaire business owner.
One day, the successful man asked his wife what made her keep faith in him, even when he was lost and unsure of his future.
His wife’s response was simple and straightforward. She said: “If a piece of land is not suitable for wheat, we can try beans. If beans don’t grow well, we can try melons. If melons also fail, we can spread buckwheat seeds, and they will surely bloom. Because every piece of land has a seed that suits it, there will always be a harvest that belongs to it.”
After hearing his wife’s words, he wept.
His wife’s unwavering faith and love were like a resilient seed, and his success was the miracle that sprouted and grew from this resilient seed!
Translated by Cecilia