Sunday, October 2, 2011

Recognizing Positives

Friday night I attended a young adult gathering at a church I started going to nearby, part of a group called TnT - Twenties and Thirties. The last point during discussion was about figuring out what our gifts are, and there was agreement that  it's often a hard thing to do. It's often easier to recognize a positive in someone else than it is to recognize a positive in ourselves. One of the leaders of the group encouraged everyone to point out gifts in people when we see them.

I've had several instances where the group I was part of actively recognized positives. During a mission trip to the Crow Reservation in Montana, each participant had a bag taped along the wall of the church basement we stayed in for the week. Whenever someone did something good that we noticed, the person who noticed wrote down that positive and put it in the other person's bag. The positives ranged from something like mentioning how well the participant worked with kids that day to thanking them for helping with something with a positive attitude. At the end, everyone read the notes in their bags, which were sometimes anonymous and sometimes signed. Reading the notes I got on the mission trip made me happy and inspired me to keep doing whatever it was that others noticed.

Earlier I mentioned how yeah buddies were part of the community service trip I went on during spring break this year. At the end of the trip, everyone wrote a yeah buddy for each person on the bus. Some people wrote short notes, but others went in depth. I still have my bag with my yeah buddies from the end. At different 4-H events, we recognized positives by passing around paper with each person's name for others to write positives on, and by posting folded notes on a mirror.

Thinking back on these times reminded me of how important it is that we recognize the positives in our lives and in each other. Not only does it make the other person feel good, but it can inspire them to keep doing good. While constructive criticism is certainly necessary and helpful at times, it's important that we don't forget to point out positives as well.

No comments:

Post a Comment