The idea for a National Day of Encouragement began in June 2007 with high school students at the National Leadership Forum in Searcy, AR. The students broke into groups and discussed what they believed to be the biggest problem facing today's high school students. The groups came up with the usual answers — alcohol, drugs and violence — but one group surprised everyone with their answer. They said that the lack of encouragement was the biggest problem, not just in their schools but also in society. When asked how they thought the problem could be dealt with, one high school senior suggested having an official Day of Encouragement. Since then, the Institute for Church & Family formed a committee to develop a Day of Encouragement. It is our goal the people all across the nation will spend a little extra time encouraging on this day. It doesn’t take much. It can be a kind word or a simple note to encourage someone. We are encouraging people everywhere to get together with friends from school, places of worship, community organizations and family to do something that encourages other people.The Institute for Church & Family is also trying to get the day nationally recognized, and according to their blog, they may be making some progress. I'm not sure if encouragement would have changed the events of 9/11 or the VT massacre (maybe discouragement would have been more effective), but I admire the goal of getting people to encourage each other more often.
And not so encouraging... I caught a commercial the other night for the Cheaters Detective Agency for Little Rock. It featured a man in his office telling his wife over the phone that he was going to be working late; later he meets up with a cute blond, and together they laugh about deceiving his wife. Talk about a depressing commercial and a poor way to drum-up business.