Five years ago, for Christmas, my wife bought me a Fitbit watch and have worn it every day since. I love this exercise watch, it is one of the best Christmas gifts I've ever received. I love the way it: counts my steps, let's me know when I need to "get up and get moving," tracks my exercise, and helps me set fitness goals. In addition to telling me the time, it is a very practical fitness tool. Another thing I like about this watch is that it gives me positive feedback when I reach my daily step goal. When I reach my daily goal a type of "colorful fireworks" display begins to flash along with a vibration for my wrist. It's my Fitbits way of saying, "Great job! You reached one of your fitness goals today." I'm not 100% sure why, but I find this positive feedback to be very encouraging. In fact, if I haven't experienced my Fitbit Fireworks for the day I will often say to myself, "I need to get up and start walking." Through the feedback of this small fitness tracker my behavior is actually being shaped in a positive way. So the question I've been asking myself is: "Why don't I put more effort into giving positive feedback to others when I see good things happening in their life?" Is it possible that others could be influenced by my personal "Relational Fireworks?"
I took advantage of a "break in the weather' yesterday and took down all of my outdoor Christmas lights. The "dismantling took about three hours." That surprised me because putting them all up took about three days! The contrast struck me: How much easier it is to "tear down" than to "build up!" Why is this so? The answer is that to "build something" (even an outdoor scene of Christmas lights" requires creativity, intention, purpose, and considerable effort. To tear something down is sort of easy...
Dr. Allen Schneider is a United Methodist pastor and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist presently serving the Sapulpa and greater Tulsa communities.