April Jeppson: Be an encourager if given the opportunity

Published 8:45 pm Friday, December 2, 2022

Every Little Thing by April Jeppson

When I’m excited about something I talk fast. I use my hands, my eyes light up and I’m sure it’s difficult to get a word in edgewise. My mind is on fire with all the ideas and possibilities, and I’m unable to get them out fast enough. I don’t even realize I’m talking that quickly until someone tells me to talk slower or calm down. My response? Maybe you should calm up!

April Jeppson

I’m not always like that though — most of the time I’m pretty even keeled. Or at least I think I am. I have a few people that know me pretty well, so you’re going to have to ask them though, because at this point I’m starting to question myself. Perhaps it’s not most of the time, but some of the time — so anyway.

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I was talking to a gentleman  awhile ago and he was explaining a restaurant he and his wife had eaten at. He was very descriptive on the way the foods were seasoned and how perfectly everything was cooked. He was visibly impressed by the service, and his storytelling really brought the scene to life. I really enjoyed watching and listening to him.

I left the conversation not only hungrier but happier. My mood improved because of that interaction. His energy was contagious, and the next day I went home and had so much fun in the kitchen. I was fired up to produce something that perhaps my family would get excited about. I’m pretty sure my kids didn’t go to school and brag about my cooking, but I know I had fun making it, and it was a good meal. 

I only spent a few minutes with this man but it created a ripple effect that positively impacted many. How cool is that?

So back to the beginning of the story. 

When I get excited about something, I want to share it. Sometimes it’s received well and other times, I can just tell that my words are wasted on the so-called listener. This can bum me out because it feels like someone has poured water on my fire of excitement. Then I start to wonder if I’m being silly and should just stay quiet. It’s a sad feeling to try and be less excited. 

Think back to when you were a kid. You’d bring an art or wood shop project home and you were just so excited to share it with your family. Did you ever show one of these to a person and their response was less than encouraging? I remember an incident with my brother one time. He was in a bad mood about something, and I was too young to read the room. I came at him with so much energy and he just flatly said, “Yeah, it’s really nice.” He meant no harm, but at the time, I walked away a little slower and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to show anyone else my artwork. 

I think my point in all this is, if you’re given the opportunity, be an encourager. Be the person who dumps lighter fluid on someone’s excitement. If that seems a little over the top for you, then just fan the flame a little. The world needs more happy, enthusiastic people. 

Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams. Her column appears every Saturday.