Thank you for all your kind words last post. Some of them made me blush. But your kindness warms my heart. They made me think of a book I’m reading, psychotherapist Piero Ferrucci’s The Power of Kindness, where he talks about the Pygmalion Phenomenon. (It’s a great read—I highly recommend it!)
Ferrucci tells a story about how when he was giving a lecture to a large group of people, a friend pointed out an individual and said he was very funny and could tell good jokes. Later, when Ferrucci had an opportunity to talk to the man he thought his friend pointed out, he said, “I hear you are very funny and tell great jokes.” The man, who was in the corner, quiet and by himself, looked at him in wonder and surprise. But all throughout Ferrucci’s lecture, he cracked jokes and brought a lot of fun to the night. Only later, when Ferrucci met back up with his friend, did he find out the mistake: his friend had pointed to a different person—not that quiet man in the corner. By the sheer attention given, Ferrucci had given the other man the confidence to express a side of him others in the room had never seen.
I love this story. First, because it illustrates the power each one of has in influencing others for good. And second, because we all have latent characteristics that can be enhanced by association with another. With effort and the right tutelage, our potential is really limitless.
Our weaknesses and our unexpressed characters can become strengths when we believe in each other.
It reminds me of another quote I tell my kids:
What does it have to do with writing? You guessed it: give yourself and your writing friends that positive confirmation to do the things they may be thought beyond them.
I’ve just read two great manuscripts by two lovely friends. This isn’t the first time I’ve critiqued for them. These friends and I have come a long way together in our writing paths—but to see how much their self-editing skills have blossomed holds me in awe of them. They are destined for great writing dreams come true and I’m so happy for them. It’s like watching Audrey Hepburn walk into Henry Higgin’s house and look Rex Harrison in the eye. Only this time she kicks him and gives him the what-for. All in a lady-like way, of course. She’s that good.