Friday, September 21, 2007

Terry Harris, Master Encourager Part 1

s"Encouragement"

My etymology dictionary tells me it's a word that comes from the French "corage" and means "to produce courage", or "to put courage into".

I've also heard it explained that to encourage another means to actually break off a little piece of your own courage and put it into someone else - "sharing the wealth", so to speak. I love that idea, don't you? Breaking off a piece of your own courage to invest it in another life and then watching it produce courage in them, too.

Terry Harris is the embodiment of that concept. He is a "Master Encourager".

I heard Terry speak a couple of years ago at a managers training in Orillia. I was transfixed by his words at the time and they have never left me. He talked about how he has learned to turn "obstacles" into "opportunities", and not stopping there, he does everything he can to encourage others to do the same.

"Master Encouragers", Terry told us, are people who have made a difference in your life and without whose encouragement you couldn't be who you are today. They are the people who see beyond your present circumstances to something greater. They believe in you, dare to invest in you, challenge you to dream. One of Terry's Master Encouragers was his Grade One teacher who asked him, "What university will you go to?" She said it at a time in his life when he was very impressionable and there were many other voices that could easily have convinced him that he would never have that option. But that teacher's word of encouragement shone brighter than all the dark early predictions, and he actually finished his formal education with a Master's Degree from Tyndale.

My next post will be about my latest encounter with Terry and his wife Dawn. Stay tuned. In the meantime You can find out more about Terry by checking out his website at: <www.encourager.ca> You will enjoy discovering a bit about who Terry is, how he has turned some of his obstacles into opportunities and meet some of his Master Encouragers. Terry is someone who truly inspires me. Someone I want to be like.

"But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today..." Hebrews 13:3 NIV

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