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I have been thinking today about Dr. Maya Angelou and enjoying many Maya quotes being shared on Facebook and other media. In my opinion, Dr. Angelou’s most powerful gift was that of Encourager. It was my extreme pleasure to see her when she visited Visalia a number of years ago, and that was the take-away for me from that afternoon.

The best story of the day was how she came to be in Visalia at all. It seems that in her quest to bring Dr. Angelou here, the lady behind her visit actually took out a second mortgage on her home to pay her speaker’s fee. Dr. Angelou was not aware of this until, due to a very hectic and over-booked schedule, she told her assistant that she needed to cancel the engagement. That was when she was told that a home had been mortgaged to get her here! Needless to say, she did not cancel, the event was standing-room-only, and the organizer in question did not lose her home! Dr. Angelou’s message was that if a perfect stranger had this much faith in her, how could she possibly disappoint!

In my life I have been blessed with a myriad of encouragers, led by my parents and other loving family members. But in thinking specifically of my blog, and my writing in general, there have been a few others who have been ever so encouraging. I I have said some of this before, but it is worth repeating. First in my list of blogging encouragers is fellow blogger and dear friend, Katrina Sinift. Reading her blog made me think, (in the immortal words of Dr. Frankenfurter) “Don’t dream it — be it!” And Carrie (Asdell) Baize with her wonderful fiction helped me realize how much I really wanted others to read what I write. And my cousin Allison Virtue (I really am going to meet her outside of Facebook someday), whose daily writing challenges shared on FB inspired me to do the same.

Daily I read other bloggers’ posts and am inspired, entertained, encouraged…if I try listing them here I am sure to leave out someone really important. But I think you know who you are, and how much I enjoy our exchanges in the comments of our respective blog posts.

So my wish for each of you reading this is that you take the time to be an encourager — it really takes but a few minutes to listen and smile. In the overall scheme of things, I think that is why we are here. Thank you.

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