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Letter: We should offer more encouraging words to all

Remember the old cowboy song that included the lyrics, “where never is heard a discouraging word?”

Sadly, that can’t apply to the world we know now. Harsh accusations abound, along with racial slurs, political rants, international threats, bullying and snide comments on social media.

That’s why I welcomed a recent experience that departed from the norm of bashing and bitterness. My lunch with a longtime friend went well, as always. We shared our customary thoughts about sports, business, family and mutual friends. Nothing we said seemed prominent and memorable — that is, until the last minute.

That’s when he extended his hand, looked me straight in the eye, smiled, and said four heartwarming words I will treasure forever: “I value your friendship.”

Wow! I knew that, of course, and he knew that I knew it. Yet the few seconds he took to say that brightened my day immensely.

Later that day, my joyful feeling prompted me to imagine a series of four words any of us can use, words expressing appreciation that so often goes unspoken. Examples:

“You’re a terrific wife.”

“Glad we hired you.”

“You meet people well.”

“You give strong leadership.”

“You write very clearly.”

“I like that suggestion.”

“Very fine sales presentation.”

“Looking real sharp today!”

Ever since my friend used four simple words to lift my spirits, I vowed that I would start telling others how much I value them. It’s time to replace those discouraging words that bombard us daily with sincere words of admiration, support and even merited praise.

Bill Lampton


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