Helen P. Mrosla -a teaching nun p44-46 Maxwell Person of Influence

Helen taught Mark Eklund in third grade and again in junior high math. One Friday the lesson wasn’t going well and the class was bickering, so Helen asked the kids to make a list of all the kids in the class and write the nicest thing they could think about each one. They did and turned it in, and on Saturday she made each student a paper with all the nice things the class had said about him or her on it. On Monday the class was so surprised at all the nice things others had said about them, and all the bickering stopped.

Several years had past and Helen was picked up at the airport by her parents. As they drove home they asked if she remembered Mark Eklund? She said yes -how is he. They said he was killed in Vietnam, and his parents called and asked if you could attend his funeral. Helen went to the funeral, and to the funeral dinner out on the farm. His parents pulled out Mark’s billfold and took out an two old pieces of paper taped, folded and refolded many times, and asked if she remembered it. It was the paper she had compiled from Junior high. They said Mark had it on him when he died and they wanted to thank her. They said, “as you can see Mark treasured it very much.” Other classmates chimed in saying they also had kept the letter. Chuck had his in the top drawer in his desk at home. John’s wife said, “John asked me to put his in our wedding album. Marilyn said hers was in her diary. Vicki reached into her pocketbook and took out her wallet and showed here worn and frazzled list to the group. She said she kept it with her all the time. “I guess we all saved our lists” Vicky concluded. Helen said I sat down and cried. She never imagined the power of encouragement, and its long lasting effects.

I want you to write a note of encouragement to someone before you leave this morning.

Sources: Winning Friends and Influencing People -Dale Carnegie

Becoming a Person of Influence - John Maxwell