Vol.IX No.IX Pg.1
November 1972

Great Swelling Words

Robert F. Turner

One time I was in a meeting where the local preacher either thought very highly of my work, or had read too many Win Friends And Influence People books. (I like to think it was the former.) For several nights he spent much time praising me, until I asked him to cease and desist, saying, I just cant stand praise.

The next night he made a few reserved remarks, explaining, Brother Turner tells me "he has an intense dislike for praise. That was not so! He had misunderstood me because he was an outlander, and did not know the American translation of my Kentucky speech. I had said, being interpreted, My system cant take it. It swells my head, I get to believing it, and then make a mess out of my sermon, I cant stand it.

After having a heat-stroke a fellow cant stand much sun. A person with a diabetic condition (sugar-diabetes, for those of that faith) cant stand molasses. (Poor soul!) Lots of folk cant stand prosperity- they let it make a fool out of them—or show them up for the fool they had kept hidden— but this doesnt mean they dislike prosperity. Oh no! Just about everyone likes praise, although some may have learned from bitter experience to distrust it and become a bit wary when it is poured on thickly. And, genuine encouragement, expressions of confidence, etc. help to build ones self-respect and self-confidence, without which we may fail to measure up to our potential. Because we need some of this, and enjoy getting more than we need, praise becomes a commodity that must be accepted with a great deal of control. (Weight-watcher, do not look on pie!)

Some Australians call Americans great palaverers!-- and they dislike this trait. I agree with them. I think we could do with a lot less back-slapping, syrup-pouring, compliment-as-a-policy talking, and get our words of encouragement into a better yea and nay frame, Of course, not everyone has a tender head like mine.

The preacher was real thoughty. He said he understood what I meant now, and would do better in the future.