little african american girl listening music with mother sitting in car

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I read a story recently about Willie, a little boy who was abducted in 2014 at the age of 9. Once he was taken from his driveway and put into the car, Willie started singing his favorite gospel song Every Praise. Willie’s kidnapper continuously told Willie to stop but the young boy continued to sing his song of praise. He continued for three hours straight! After three hours, the kidnapper became agitated, pulled over, told Willie “you’re F$%@ing annoying” and let Willie out.

We have all probably heard that “misery loves company”. I think, however, those that are miserable hate hearing joy and being around those that are happy. Negative people often surround themselves with negative people. They don’t know how to respond when people around them are happy or full of joy and giving off praise. I wonder if this is why Willie’s abductor got fed up and had to let Willie go.

I read the story of Willie not long after reading research regarding children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD. The article had stated that children with ADHD hear almost 20,000 more negative comments than a typical child. How can one feel good about themselves if all they hear are comments that are negative? By giving negative comments, we build negative people. Children who grow up around negativity become negative adults. Adults then who pass on negativity to the next generation.

We need to learn to give praise. We need to role model joy, hope, and a positive attitude. I want to see my kids happy, hopeful and full of praise and for that to happen, they need to see it in me. It is tough. It is not always what I feel. But it can be a choice on how I behave. Not based on the fact I feel it, but because the people in my life need to hear and see it. It’s a choice! It’s a choice even when I am facing tough times. Willie was scared but he decided to praise…it ultimately can be argued saved his life.

Tim Geels – SVP of Instruction and Corporate Implementation

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