“If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn.
“If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight.
“If a child lives with ridicule, he learns to be shy.
“If a child lives with shame, he learns to feel guilty.
“If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient.
“If a child lives with encouragement, he learns confidence.
“If a child lives with praise, he learns to appreciate.
“If a child lives with fairness, he learns justice.
“If a child lives with security, he learns to have faith.
“If a child lives with approval, he learns to like himself.
“If a child lives with acceptance and friendship, he learns to find love in the world.”
- Dorothy Law Nolte
I read that quote years ago and it struck a chord with me. I realized I had been overly “critiquing” my daughter who had recently started college. I quickly saw how my “mothering” and attempt to help her be better must have seemed to her. I realized that she didn’t need me to be her mother any more, but her friend.
So I just started to listen when she called, offering advice only when she asked for it. Mind you – that wasn’t a quick change. It took a lot of work on my part, but I got better at it. I think today, almost ten years later, even she will admit I’ve made progress.
Then a friend sent this quote to his list this past weekend and I saw it again, and was reminded of those years of learning to be a friend rather than someone who needs to be the corrector of less experienced people.
Here’s what I’ve learned:
People, no matter their age, all have a bit of their youth left in them. If you can touch that inner child with acceptance and an open spirit, they will likely reciprocate and accept you.
So often we hear that the way to attract customers is to first offer value. That is true. But I believe it is true because of the truth of this timeless quote by Dorothy Law Nolte. People are seeking acceptance and honest, open communication. They need people to see their value and worth. A recent newspaper article offered evidence that people like Facebook because they feel valued in the environment. We all need that, right?
Let me put this in personal terms. I need to be accepted and loved. I need friends. I am an open networker because I believe people have value beyond business. The people open to accepting for how I am become my friends. Some of my best friends, I have never met in person, but we are connected virtually and help each other in moments when we just need to be heard.
Who is your best friend today?
Reach out online, in public, and let them know much they mean to you. The bond you have will grow deeper and you’ll experience the power of online social networking not just to make a living, but to make a life.