Activated - - NEWS - By Alex Peter­son

What makes peo­ple crave a fruit like durian? Why do they light up when they see clumps of those prickly, green­ish-brown husks hang­ing lib­er­ally from ven­dor stalls? How do they get past the pun­gent, even re­volt­ing, odor? What makes them fight their way through the thick, prickly outer husk in or­der to reach the in­side?

The rea­son is that they've fallen in love with what's in­side. They know that in­side the prickly outer shell, past the foul smell, there is an ex­quis­ite cen­ter.

Lov­ing peo­ple and see­ing the good and pos­si­bil­i­ties in oth­ers can some­times be sim­i­lar to get­ting to the heart of a durian. Peo­ple can be prickly. They can have thick, crusty outer shells. Their pres­ence can re­pel rather than at­tract. Peo­ple can be stinky—when they do and say stinky things, or when they sin, as ev­ery­one does at times. But those bar­ri­ers merely add to the chal­lenge of reach­ing that sweet cen­ter of the in­ner per­son.

Durian is the king of fruits to some. Like­wise, hu­man be­ings are God's crown­ing cre­ations on earth—each one pos­sess­ing a heart and soul that is more valu­able and pre­cious than all this world has to of­fer. Any­one who has truly looked in­side an­other's heart has seen great po­ten­tial. Therein lies good. Therein lies pos­si­bil­ity that just needs to be be­lieved in and high­lighted.

Ev­ery­one needs friends and fam­ily who love them, who know that there is good and pos­si­bil­ity deep in­side of them, and who are will­ing to work at it to reach that beau­ti­ful cen­ter.

Charles Sch­wab, the suc­cess­ful busi­ness­man, said, “I have yet to find the man, how­ever ex­alted his sta­tion, who did not do bet­ter work and put forth greater ef­fort un­der a spirit of ap­proval than un­der a spirit of crit­i­cism.”

Ev­ery­one wants and needs to be af­firmed for his ac­com­plish­ments. A lit­tle boy play­ing darts with his fa­ther said, “Let's play darts. I'll throw and you say ‘Won­der­ful!'” That's what the [en­cour­ag­ing] per­son does for oth­ers.

We tend to be­come what the most im­por­tant per­son in our life thinks we will be­come. Think the best, be­lieve the best, and ex­press the best in oth­ers. Your af­fir­ma­tion will not only make you more at­trac­tive to them, but you will help play an im­por­tant part in their per­sonal devel­op­ment.

As Chris­tians, we can­not af­ford not to af­firm oth­ers. If I fail to af­firm a brother, we both lose.— John Maxwell (b. 1947), Amer­i­can au­thor, speaker, and pas­tor who has writ­ten more than 60 books, pri­mar­ily fo­cus­ing on lead­er­ship.

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