A group of frogs were traveling through the woods, and two of them fell into a deep pit. All the other frogs gathered around the pit. When they saw how deep the pit was, they told the two frogs that they were as good as dead.
The two frogs ignored the comments and tried to jump up out of the pit with all of their might. The other frogs kept telling them to stop, that they were as good as dead. Finally, one of the frogs took heed to what the other frogs were saying and gave up. He fell down and died.
The other frog continued to jump as hard as he could. Once again, the crowd of frogs yelled at him to stop the pain and just die. He jumped even harder and finally made it out. This frog, though, was deaf, unable to hear the others plea. He thought they were encouraging him the entire time.
This story teaches us two lessons. There is power of life and death in the tongue. An encouraging word to someone who is down can lift them up and help them make it through the day. Be careful of what you say. Speak life to those who cross your path.
The power of words is strong. An encouraging word can go such a long way. Think before you speak.
[Author Unknown, rec'd via email in 1999. For storytelling purposes leave out the italicized words - let the story speak for itself ].