Encouraging Shout Outs

A word of encouragement goes a long way.

I was reading and listening to a few news stories yesterday, and the themes felt so daunting. I have no need need to make any silver linings out of them. We know that painful, troubling stories of war, gun violence, financial difficulty, and climate emergency weigh heavy upon us, and they impact some directly in devastating ways.

I took in a deep breath and sighed. When we hear all of these things, particularly if they’re framed in a certain way, it can feel so daunting and dooming, as if there is nothing we can do to make this world better.

No silver linings, but I do know this last part isn’t true: We can do things to make this world better.

I sent a few texts to people I know who are connected to the themes of these stories. I told someone that I’m glad she’s working on an electoral campaign. I told someone that I’m glad he’s a peacemaker. I told someone that I’m glad he’s a doctor.

And these shoutouts of encouragement didn’t only benefit them. They benefitted me. They reminded me that we change things relationally, and I know some really stellar, committed people.

It reminds me of the poem, “Good Bones,” by Maggie Smith. (Have a read)

We can listen, sigh, and feel these stories in our own bones. And we can make this world better.

Renee Roederer

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