Out of the mouths of babes…

I led a half day course on The Power of Acknowledgment recently in New York City, and a lovely woman, DeVonne Salliey wrote this to me as a followup:

“I really enjoyed the course, and haven’t stopped talking about it yet.  If you recall, I asked you about “pay it forward” which was in the course notes…..I’d never heard of it.  Well, based on a recommendation from my co-worker, Cynthia, I rented the movie “Pay It Forward” and watched this weekend.  It was a little heavy for my kids (5 & 7 yrs), however we discussed the premise and characters in great detail and I even drew pictures to illustrate how the character stories inter-related and how the one-to-three relationship can spread “goodness” so quickly.  When I asked if there were any questions, I got one from my 5 year old.  She wanted to know why she had to limit her “pay-it-forward” acts of kindness to ONLY three people!!  As you can imagine,  I was thrilled.   And I even agreed to let them watch the last 20 minutes or so of the movie with me later this week.  

Thanks again for a great course.”  

DeVonne Salliey
Enterprise Program Management (EPMO)

Strategy and Development
Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey

I acknowledge DeVonne for exploring and sharing this concept with her two wonderfully and delightfully aware daughters, Deja and Dena. I acknowledge the girls for their openness to the power of acknowledgment and its “pay it forward” effects on people. And I especially want to thank five year old Dena for not wanting to play small, in spite of her age and size — and wanting to pay it forward on a grand scale! If we start exposing children to the power of acknowledgment and its associated benefits early, imagine what the world will be like in generations to come!

Coincidentally, last week I spoke to my two nephews, Michael (age 7) and David (age 5) about why I was out in San Diego, California, near their home. I explained that I had been talking to 1,000 people about the book I had written, The Power of Acknowledgment, at a conference. They wanted to know what an acknowledgment was, which I explained to them. A short time later, I heard David saying to MIchael, “You are really good at playing soccer.” Michael thanked him, and then David turned to me and said — in case I had missed it  — “That was an acknowledgment!” Later, I heard Michael, who was actually reading the autographed copy of the book I had given to his brother and him, say that I was a really good writer. Then, with a smile he added, “That was an acknowledgment!” Wow! I was pretty amazed at how quickly they had grasped the concept and put it to use.

It was at that moment that I started thinking about what my next book might be (everyone keeps asking me, so I will tell you about my idea first): The Power of Acknowledgment for Kids. What do you think? I feel that it could be pretty awesome to get them started early. I asked Michael and David if they would like to be part of my editorial advisory board and get a credit in the book. They both said “Yes!” immediately and then asked me what that meant. I said they would have to review what I wrote and give me feedback. They were very agreeable, and I think if I do move forward with this project, that I will ask Deja and Dena to be part of my team as well. I suspect they will say “Yes”!