The Power of Praise in the teachings of Mother
I love children, especially the first-grade primary school students, because they are so pure and innocent. So, this year, too, I am in charge of a first-grade class. I am really happy to spend time with the children who are so cute and pretty; they have a pure heart and also have their own distinct personalities.
There is a boy named “Ik-hyeon.” He has the nickname “Sloth” because he moves so slow and he is remarkably big for his age. When I give my students an in-class assignment, he does not even try to start it but puts his oar in, moving here and there; he just keeps playing until other friends finish their assignment. He is such a troublemaker. So he is often given warnings.
One day, something unexpected happened. Ik-hyeon came to me with his assignment completed and asked me to check it. What he did was quite commendable, so I patted him on his head, saying,
“Good job, Ik-hyeon! If you start trying to do something, you can do it so well.”
He wore a big smile probably because he was pleased to hear praise from me, his teacher.
The next morning, when I was preparing for class, someone silently came close to me and gave me three pieces of chocolate. It was Ik-hyeon.
“Are you giving these to me? Thank you. It looks delicious.”
Then he smiled shyly, and it brought a smile to my face as well.
After the first class, he came to me again. This time, he slipped a folded one dollar bill into my hand. I was embarrassed at first, but seeing how cute and lovely he was, I smiled for a good while; he wanted to give something to his teacher for praising him.
“Thank you, but I can’t take this because it’s your allowance, which your parents gave to you, not to anyone else. You need to save up money for the things you need. So keep the money for yourself. Thank you for thinking of me.”
I persuaded him calmly and had him sit back down in his seat.
A few days passed by, and I saw Ik-hyeon standing in front of the teachers’ office. He was holding his stomach which looked swollen. I was so surprised that I ran to him.
“Ik-hyeon, what’s wrong with you? Are you sick?”
Instead of replying, he pulled up his top and took out a bag of snacks.
He probably carefully came up to the second floor carefully from the first floor, hiding it in his clothes so his friends wouldn’t see it. At the thought of it, I burst into laughter once again.
Suddenly I was reminded of the saying that goes, “Whale done!” which means that praise can even make a whale dance. Praise is the secret to building trust between people and boosting their drive to work. As I saw him, a troublemaker, start to change at the words of praise from me, his teacher, I realized again the power of praise.
“When we praise brothers and sisters, the praise returns to us.”
I engrave in my heart once again the will of Heavenly Mother in the World Mission Society Church of God (WMSCOG) who wants us to encourage and strengthen one another with the words of love on our journey of faith. As Mother wishes, I pray that I will give strength to my brothers and sisters through the words of praise and encouragement like a breath of fresh air, so that they can take powerful steps for the gospel.