Hooray for the encouragers of the world

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 17, 2006

Have you ever worked, or gone to school with, or lived with someone whose glass was perpetually half-empty? You know, the kind of person who sees everything in the worst light possible, the &uot;awwwh, I can’t do that, there’s no hope&uot; type.

I don’t know about you, but I find people like that extremely depressing and irritating to be around. If enthusiasm is contagious, sadly, gloom and doom can also be spread around like some nasty flu.

Low morale affects organizations, businesses, churches and groups of all kinds, even families.

&uot;As a man thinketh, so is he.&uot; Substitute in &uot;woman,&uot; &uot;boss,&uot; &uot;employee,&uot; &uot;student,&uot; &uot;teacher,&uot; &uot;husband,&uot; &uot;wife,&uot; &uot;parent&uot;…what we expect out of life and those with whom we share it is often what we get, be it good or bad.

That’s why I am thankful for the blessed souls who believe in the power of positive thinking and the importance of encouragement.

Last week I attended the annual foster parent banquet Susan Murphy and her family put together for the county’s foster parents. Susan, a former foster child herself, started these dinners some 16 years ago as a tangible way to say &uot;thank you&uot; to the folks who take kids in need into their homes to love and care for them as best they can.

Susan, who has a good heart, a wicked sense of humor and a &uot;never-say-die&uot; approach when it comes to asking for support for good causes like the county’s foster children and the United Fund, is certainly one of our county’s encouragers.

Mike Looney, our system’s schools superintendent, is definitely a man with great enthusiasm. I’m not sure where he gets all that amazing energy, but he has it in spades, and it seems to be spreading throughout the Butler County School System.

Principals are very upbeat, teachers are eager and the signs are there to show improvements have already been made in the system (hope you took a gander at the recent story on the AYP scores).

From academic classes to the gridiron, there’s a positive feeling in the air.

I purchased a &uot;Greenville Football – Bring It Back!&uot; t-shirt from the GHS cheerleaders and sponsors at Jubilee. The ladies were all bubbly and upbeat in spite of the heat, looking forward to Coach Bryant Vincent and his Tigers doing &uot;whatever it takes&uot; to turn the program around.

&uot;Whatever it takes&uot; is Looney’s motto, one his faculties and staffs have adopted. In one year, he’s inspired some amazing things in our system and I, for one, am looking forward to seeing more wonderful things happen.

There are others on my encouragers list: Bobbie Gamble, Priscilla Davis, Sue Arnold, Allen Stephenson and many more. I appreciate and value each of you for the contributions you make to our city and county.

Encouragement, enthusiasm, involvement – these are things that make our community and world a better place.

Angie Long is Lifestyles reporter for The Greenville Advocate. She can be reached at 382-3111 ext. 132 or via email at angie.long@greenvilleadvocate.com.