I am reminded of a song that says “There will be hills and mountains to climb.” Without a doubt, the writer was referring to the challenges that all of us will face sooner or later in life.

We celebrate various accomplishments such as overcoming an illness, graduations, finding a job, getting engaged, marriage, buying a home, having children, finding a house of faith, retirement and overcoming some obstacles. In the midst of these accomplishments, I see many exhibiting patience and perseverance in the caring for a loved one with special needs, extended illnesses, as well as trying to cope with various family challenges involving spouses, children, other family members, health issues, deaths and other matters.

Persons in leadership positions in the faith community, first responders and others who are frequently called upon to uplift and rescue others need someone to encourage them also, so that their “reservoir of refreshing spirit” is not depleted. Consequently, irrespective of our age, gender, ethnicity, faith, or socio-economic status, we all can use a few words of encouragement.

The longer we live, the better we see and understand the voice of our elders saying, “Just live.”

“Perhaps our eyes need to be washed by our tears once in a while, so that we can see life with a clearer view again.”

Unfortunately, the visits to various rooms in our hospitals, trauma units, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes as well as hurricane and flood victimizations serve as a reminder to us about what is really important in this life. How refreshing it is to talk to people who are a “breath of fresh air.”

Interacting with genuine people who have no political or personal agenda is uplifting, regardless of who it is. Thus, we challenge those who are experiencing moments of being down for some reason to keep your heads up.

I have found a few words of encouragement that hopefully will help all of us in some manner.

>> “Believe in yourself. You can do it. You can and will get through this. Search within yourself, and you will find strength and hope for tomorrow.” (Anonymous)

>> “No matter how tall the mountain, it cannot block the sun.” (Chinese Proverb)

>> “When the world says, ‘Give up,’ Hope whispers, ‘Try it one more time.’” (Source unknown)

>> “A word of encouragement during a failure is worth more than an hour of praise after success.” (Anonymous)

>> “Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.” (Maya Angelou)

>> “You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is like an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.” (Ghandhi)

>> “Whenever you find yourself doubting how far you can go, just remember how far you have come.” (Source unknown)

>> “Soon, when all is well, you’re going to look back on this period of your life and be so glad that you never gave up.” (Brittany Burgunder)

>> “I believe that as women, it is time to show love towards our fellow sisters and to encourage and build up one another and not tear each other down.” (Stephanie Williams, Daily Meditation of Scripture)

>> “Nine-tenths of education is encouragement.” (Source unknown)

Allie E. Brooks Jr. is a retired educator who was the Florence School District One superintendent and formerly the principal of Wilson High School.