"I'm doing everything that I can, working with experts, really studying the statistics to figure out a way we can make it cool or normal to be kind and loving." — Lady Gaga
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When we’re frustrated, it’s easy to pass along that frustration to others—by complaining to the people around us, by yelling, by blaming others for our frustrations, or perhaps even worse, by simply ignoring others altogether. The problem is that passing frustration onto others solves nothing and if anything it only adds fuel to the frustrations that others may already be carrying with them. This is a genuine concern to keep in mind because every who comes into your life is coming with their own story, a story that you truly know nothing about.
I'm So Happy You're Here
A friend of mine recently told me that he made a list of the five people who had the biggest influence in his life, the individuals responsible for helping him to be who today. On this list was a friend who made an impact on him, a teacher who believed in him, an uncle who gave him an opportunity, a boss who encouraged, and even a complete stranger who saved his life—even though she didn’t realize that’s what she did.
When he shared this with me I was curious how a stranger had saved his life, so I asked him to elaborate. He said that it was all in her words. The woman was frustrated by a problem that wasn't working out so he stepped in to help, and when he did, instead of complaining and passing that frustration on to him, she simply looked at him with a smile and said: "I'm so happy you're here."
That made me even more confused because it didn't sound like the typical life-saving event I had imagined, so I asked him to elaborate further. He explained: "I was on my way to commit suicide. I just thought life would be better without me in it. But her words made me rethink that thought long enough to not go through with it."
“I’m so happy you’re here.” These are simple words. Kind words. Words that cost nothing to give but when received have the power to encourage others. Everyone who walks into your life is walking in with their own story, a story that you know nothing about. The question becomes, are your words encouraging others? Or are your words stoking the frustration of those around you?
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Jonas Cain is an instructional designer, facilitator of fascination, and purveyor of positivity—helping to initiate and manage positive change for individual, team, and community growth.