Nineteenth-century writer Walt Whitman struggled for years to get anyone interested in his poetry. He became very discouraged. But then he received a note that read:

Dear sir, I am not blind to the worth of the wonderful gift of Leaves of Grass. I find it the most extraordinary piece of wit and wisdom that America has yet contributed. I greet you at the beginning of a great career.

It was signed by Ralph Waldo Emerson.

I can’t help but wonder what might have happened to Whitman had Emerson not invested in him by writing those kind words. That note must have been like fresh air to Whitman, who breathed in its encouragement and was inspired to keep writing.

You don’t have to be a professional writer like Emerson to make a difference in someone’s life. Just taking the time to write a note of encouragement is evidence of your willingness to invest in that person.

from 25 Ways to Win with People

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