...not The Word. The r-word.
President Obama made a controversial comment as Jay Leno was giving him polite praise for working to improve his bowling skills. Some people saw the comment as "people in Special Olympics are bad bowlers;" and some saw it as "we praise effort in Special Olympics, not an absolute measure of achievement."
I believe that, as a Christian, I'm asked to "praise effort" as a general course, not just in the case of those that don't perform at a level generally accepted as typical or successful. I love watching my young, intellectually disabled daughter try to learn and do new things, even when she isn't successful, even when she's 2+ years behind her peers. It is frustrating. Sometimes sad. Sometimes scared. Every single time, though, she deserves my praise for the hard work and effort she put into trying. Only when she doesn't try am I disappointed.
The same goes true for those that we sometimes declare as successful or label overachievers. If they aren't pushing themselves to achieve their fullest potential, then they aren't contributing to their fullest. I believe that is what God asks us to do - our best and our fullest. We when do, we should praise each other for that as well - not just for the achievement; but also for the effort, dedication, inspiration, and courage that lead to the achivement.
3 years ago