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home : opinion : opinion August 14, 2020

5/1/2020 12:25:00 PM
Point Out The Good

Marty Reep, Author
Speaker, Forward-Thinker

Whatever you water, grows. Whatever you feed, grows. If you point out the good in other people, they will tend to do more good. If you point out the bad in other people, they will tend to do more bad.

Parents and teachers know this to be true. Whatever they emphasize, re-emphasize, point out, talk about, discuss, or “harp on” seems to be the actions or ideas that children reply with. The reactive energy kids give is in response to what they’ve been input with. Adults do the same when it comes to work ethics, helping in their communities, or being involved in their families.

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Recently, a couple was talking about how, years before, the husband had offered to make dinner, but he was not doing a very good job of it. The wife pointed out that some of the food he made was really undercooked, while other parts of it were burned. He said, “Honey, if you ever want to see me in the kitchen again, you’ve got to give me some encouragement.” She replied, “Yes, I definitely want you to cook, again, but I would also like for us to enjoy the flavor of what we put into our mouths.”

After a tense moment, they both laughed and wound up eating something else for dinner! But, in the process of making dinner, they both realized the power and value of pointing out the good things that others do. They also realized that the words they use, over time, can make or break a conversation, a dinner, and a relationship. They agreed to focus on and say positive things.

However, that’s not to say that if somebody is harming someone or breaking the law, we’re just supposed to say, “Oh, that’s okay” and let it go. That’s different – that’s an extreme case of negative actions that needs to get pointed out and stopped.

It’s sort of like the parable of the two wolves. A man once told me that inside of each of our hearts are two wolves: a mean one and a nice one. He said, “Every day, both wolves fight against each other, because both of them want to win and to be in charge.” I asked, “How can I know which one will win?” He said, “The one you feed more.”

The same is true for what we say to others. What we point out, grows. What we say, or “feed more” wins. Because our minds give and receive data all the time, we’re constantly filtering the outflow and inflow of information, actions, and reactions. Whatever is the most of something, is what we tend to dwell on. And, that which we dwell on is that which we point out or talk about.

If pointing out the good in someone else seems strange or isn’t part of who you naturally are, that’s okay. Start small and work your way up! Compliment somebody on something they do well. They’ll probably say, “Thank you,” and then both of you will be smiling. Unless somebody’s in a really bad mood, it’s hard to resist a smile, especially when it’s genuine.

Lastly, pointing out good things in other people creates an unseen boomerang effect in your life. As you say good things to other people, more of the same will come to you from other people. It’s almost as if in saying positive things, you are given an ability to reach into an unseen realm and pull out invisible good stuff that already surrounds you. It’s kind of cool. Have a good week!

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