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Ever say to yourself, “I thought about saying something, but I didn’t. I didn’t want to appear too pushy.” I know I have.
Isn’t the fine line between being pushy and encouraging nearly indistinguishable? Are we too often fearful of not offering an encouraging word simply because we believe it might be taken as a bit overbearing or offensive, when in reality, those words of encouragement could change someone’s life?
Take these words for instance…
“Everyone has inside them a piece of good news. The good news is you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is.” — Anne Frank
Here’s a favorite of mine that’s been attributed to many: “If you think that you can, or if you think that you can’t, you’re most likely going to be right on both accounts. Pick one.”
Well-known author and motivational speaker Zig Ziegler said, “When you encourage others, you in the process are encouraged because you’re making a commitment and difference in that person’s life. Encouragement really does make a difference.”
“Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.” ― Theodore Roosevelt
If providing encouraging words can be life-changing, what might be the value of preserving those words for generations to come?
The Pardo Push
His name is Bob Pardo, and in 1967 while flying an F-4 Phantom fighter jet over enemy territory (North Vietnam), he saved fellow pilot combatants Earl Aman and Bob Houghton, by “pushing” their wounded F-4 to safety 60 miles away.
At speeds of nearly 300 miles per hour with the windshield of Bob’s aircraft against Earl and Bob’s tailhook, the “push” (an illegal maneuver) could have not only ended Bob’s military career, but all of their lives. It didn’t.
As it turns out, what we found most interesting was not so much the famous “Pardo Push,” but who pushed Bob to do what he did and why—an encouraging, life-changing lesson to be treasured for generations to come.