This was written on a white board in the hallway of an office I recently visited. It was posted in the common area for everyone to see. I appreciated the honesty of the comment, in that we all know not everyone we meet with be our friend. I also and grateful that in the end we need to thank them both…most of the time we do not give thanks for those who tear us down, yet they can have a great impact on our world. 

In can think of a couple people who tore me to pieces while I was in grade school…those are not fond memories for me. They were cruel days where I remember crying myself to sleep dwelling on thier unkind words. In fact, some of those words still haunt my dreams. They come back to me during my “stress dreams” and make me wake feeling inferior. And yet, I can also say that it toughened me up for future rough times later in life. Not exactly the way I would leave chosen to gained my emotional sea legs, but too often in life we don’t have a choice in what happen to us. The only choice we have is how we react to what happens to us. 

I can also think back on people who built me up higher than I thought possible. The people who believed in me before I knew what I had inside. They saw in me something worth investing in and spent the time, effort, and energy to bring out my best. They are the voices in my soul that urge me onto greatness. They are the cherished moments of kindess and wisdom that nudge me forward when I need just one more ounce of confidence. They filled my reservoir before I ever knew I would need one. 

Here is a question for you…which kind of person were you today? Did you build up the people you met, or did you tear them down. Will you be remembered as the tormenter or the teacher, the villain or the vibrant…the point of light or the black hole? Each day we have a choice of how we will treat people, how we will react to another person’s behavior, and how we will allow others to speak into our lives. Your day may be ending or just beginning, the thing to remember is that you have a choice about how you will treat people AND how you allow people to treat you…choose wisely!