Owning it

It’s funny what happens when you encourage someone. There are a number of effects.

The first probably happens in the person giving the encouragement. A spark of love or duty in the heart flares up, and when acted upon becomes a consistent flame within that aids the creation of similar thoughts in the future.
The second effect is in whoever receives the encouragement, which takes the form of a strengthening of the soul. It is a love transferred (for that is the natural destination of love; another being. Love cannot exist in a lone person, it must be expressed.)
And the third effect is altogether more mysterious. It is sometimes conscious, but I feel it is more often unconscious. Somehow the encouragement takes root in the receiver and begins to grow into that which has been mentioned in the encouragement.

For instance, I might encourage someone by saying that they are particularly kind towards others. There may be but the smallest bit of kindness in that person, but in the act of speaking, the words are more likely to be accurate just by the fact of their being voiced. Incredible. Now we should not take this to mean that we can go around saying what we like in hope that it might come about. We should be honest in encouraging only what we see. But the wonderful thing is that this has a profound effect on others, and many people do not see their own strengths and it is sometimes a revelation to them that others might see them as patient, or gifted in a certain way.

So be generous in calling out the good in others, you may be the first person to do so and perhaps start the lifelong development of a gift. I have found it true in my own life that when others repeatedly call out a strength of mine, I make sure to express that gift, and to spend time cultivating it. I start to own it.

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