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August 8, 2013

A Challenge for You

Non-fiction books aren’t my thing.  It takes me 50% longer to read non-fiction than fiction.  Most of the time anyway.  It’s not that they aren’t good… I usually just have to think a lot more when reading non-fiction, which means more time to process, which means I can’t read as much in one sitting.  Am I the only one in this?  Thought so ;-)

I’ve mentioned it before, but we heard Kevin Hall speak at United back in February and his talk had most of us captivated within his first few minutes on stage.  Ben asked me later what it was about his talk that had so many of US talking and at the time, all I could really come up with was that he wasn’t a photographer.  While I LOVE hearing other photographers speak, he was coming from a completely different perspective and not talking about photography at all!  But as I’ve been reading his book (yes, since February), I’ve realized a couple more things.  He’s a good story teller.  And the reason he’s a good story teller is because he looks for stories as they’re happening in his life.  In other words, he’s out living and meeting people and engaging them and listening to THEIR stories.

Each chapter of his book Aspire is about a different word.  He explains the origin of the word and then uses stories from his life and lives of others to really explain what it means.  In the chapter I read last week, entitled Inspire, something really stood out to me.  In each chapter, Kevin recounts his time spent with an elderly gentleman by the name of Arthur who was a lover of words.  In this one instance, after Arthur talked about the meaning of “inspire”, he explained the meaning of the word encourage. “‘Coeur’ in the Romance languages means heart, he explained, gesturing at his own heart. When you ‘encourage’, you add to someone’s heart. And when you ‘discourage’, you take away from someone’s heart.'” (Aspire, p 134)

Wow.  Just wow.  If you think of how fragile your own heart can be at times and then think of how fragile others’ hearts can be, it really makes you think about how you can affect those hearts around you!  And the idea of “taking away from someone’s heart” just breaks me.  I know things I’ve said or done have caused that to happen and while most of those instances have been forgiven, it will make me think even more for what I say and do in the future.

Something I’ve begun doing recently at sessions is to have the groom whisper into his bride’s ear to tell her why he’s so excited that she is becoming his wife or why he’s so proud to become her husband.  It gives them a moment.  It gives him time to encourage her.  It gives them words to the photos I’ll deliver to them later.  And I never ask what was said because it was his time to encourage her… his time to “add to her heart.”

So my challenge to you guys today?  Encourage someone.  Or many someones!  And remember as you do so that you’re adding to their heart.

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