DAVE: Encouraging Words


Written by Dave Miller in the August 2014 Issue

He looked me in the eye and said “Don’t worry, you’re gonna do fine.” A simple act and simple words at a time when I needed them.

You never know when someone will say something that you’ll remember for the rest of your life. Something that you’ll pull from your memory, dust off and replay again and again. Something that will encourage you like no other greeting card sentiment or well-meaning, well-crafted Facebook post ever will.

Dave's Toon for AugustThose words were spoken to me in my sophomore year of design school. At the time, I was struggling with my chosen major—industrial design. I had just completed a design presentation and endured a rather scathing critique from my fellow students and visiting professors. As I made my way to the back of the class, my Jr. Professor, Mickey Ackerman, leaned into me and quietly told me not to worry, that I was going to do fine. I thought I had hidden my post-presentation despair well, but inside, I was questioning my whole choice of major.

Those simple and, I believe, divinely inspired words created that special moment I recall often. I hear them when I’m unsure or doubting myself.

You never know who needs a kind word. They don’t have to be prepared, metered or rehearsed. They just need to be shared. Years later, I recalled that moment for Mickey. I thanked him; he of course had no memory of the exchange taking place. No matter, I do. And always will. Encouragement is like that.

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