Crystal Cathedral

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Kindness Korner

A Personal Experience, but No Hard Feelings

“Do We Need a Care and Kindness Conference?”

If there is any message I have repeated a great deal it is how necessary it is to thank and encourage those who work for us.

A few days ago I spoke for about forty-five minutes on prayer to a group of about eighty people. Most of them I know rather well. None of them had previously heard what I said about my personal experiences with prayer. They looked interested as I talked. They asked a few questions and shared a few stories of their own. Then we segued into a musical presentation followed by the evening meal.

Here is my punch-line: Not one person said a word to me about my presentation.

Someone should have said something. Even if it was mediocre or awful, listeners could at least say “thank you for your hard work”. In other words the talk, or lesson, does not have to be outstanding to earn a word of acknowledgment. But something should be said, by many.

So after a dozen years of talking, teaching, writing about offering words of appreciation, encouragement, or recognition I realize there is still a lot of unfinished business. It should never happen that someone works for us and receives nothing in return. But it happened to me.

ANYTIME someone performs, speaks, teaches, NO MATTER WHO THEY ARE they deserve a few sentences of recognition and/or appreciation.  No one is so competent, experienced, famous, great, rich, beautiful, or old,. that they may be overlooked on this issue of giving them a word of acknowledgment or gratitude.


  1. Hope some of your members learn from your message. Just going to the service and going through the motions is not embracing the message. I think that when members mention the church as an affirmation that they are ethical and then don’t act in an ethical manor not only makes them a hypocrite but weakens your message. It is ironic that someone named Mr. Sheppard chooses to mislead the flock rather than guide it.

  2. Yes. Isn't this so very true? People are rather unconscious about a speaker's need for feedback. From this moment onward I want to
    remember to comment--ask a question, give a specific compliment or even a criticism-- so the speaker doesn't feel her/his word contribution was nil.
    Thank you for bringing that to my attention.