The Herald Bulletin

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Columns

July 4, 2014

Verna Davis: Encourage, don't discourage

Over the years, I have learned a thing or two.

I have learned that cats are not fond of being imprisoned in the microwave, even if they are placed there by an impossibly precocious four-year-old who just wanted to see the feline ride round and round on that glass plate in the middle. (Thankfully, I saved the cat from implosion!)

I have learned that the hardness of the butter is proportional to the softness of the bread. And if the butter is especially hard (i.e.: just coming from the refrigerator), even toasted bread does not melt the butter appropriately.

I have learned that dogs should never be trusted to watch your food while you answer the door. I have learned that I would be more willing to make mistakes if only someone else would volunteer to do the learning from my mistakes. I have learned that if you force your child to clean his plate, then you should not be surprised when that child develops a weight problem before he is finished with puberty. I have learned that it is not a career I have always wanted. It's the paycheck!

Back (way back) when I was in school, I learned that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Well, since then, I have learned that for every action from any given person, there is an equal and opposite criticism from any given multitude of people.

I don't mean to be critical. Not at all. But it's hard not to notice critical people. They are all around us. Their harsh words and criticism cut sharply into the hearts of those they criticize. Criticism wounds and scars far more than fists or knives ever could. Criticism cuts through bone and marrow right into a person's soul.

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