Don’t Discourage People

This cartoon reminded me of a huge concern among myself and my peers: failure. Since we are growing and are exposing ourselves to many things, trying to find  something we can do well, we usually linger on the approval of adult’s thoughts and guidance. The dad and girl’s relationship exemplifies this theme. There was a study done to test whether telling someone they are going to fail increases their probability of actually failing and vice versa: if telling someone they will make an A improves their chance of actually making an A.  In this video, a teacher tested this out.When the teacher yelled at the students and drilled into their brains, “None of you can pass this test. You are all set up for failure,” the class average lowered. However, when the same teacher told the class they would succeed, the class average enhanced. Identical to the story of the dad and the daughter, this is also true. When the dad encouraged his daughter, it gave the daughter hope and the ability to excel, but at the end when the dad disrupted his daughter’s dream, she had no power to exceed into something significant.

On the other hand, if the dad discouraged the girl, all her potential ability that we saw in the beginning of the poem would have been nonexistent. In some cases, though, being discouraged actually encourages a person to succeed to prove the other person they were wrong: like Disney. When Walt Disney was working with an advertising company in Kansas City, many times he gave them his sketches which were severely edited or not used at all. From this experience, Walt Disney went into his own business which he would not have done if the advertising company had not turned down his ideas. Then, of course, we know how the story ends: Walt Disney became huge. However, this success story does not happen to everybody and this process could have occurred much faster if it wasn’t for the continuous let downs. That is why the Zen Pencils’ cartoon emphasizes that it doesn’t hurt to encourage an author, because their skills could lead to great success whereas with discouragement “…You get absolutely nothing in return, ever.” Exactly like all the people who discouraged Disney did not get any recognition.


3 thoughts on “Don’t Discourage People

  1. I think you’re spot on about the cartoon, but in which ways could we extend its meaning?
    Could it be that we are the adult in that situation, and it is our role to encourage others? Rather than having to rely on the experiences of others, can we relate this to our own life? Whenever I see that, I think of a bad Art teacher that I had back in elementary school that inspired my lack of confidence in my art. If she had maintained a positive outlook, how would my life be different? These were just questions created by your post and the cartoon, just reply to some of it, these reply posts are chaos.


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  3. I enjoyed how you used such a variety of examples to support your view on this quote:) After reading your post and the comic that you chose, for the first time I really realized the extent to which encouragement and discouragement can be so powerful. It really show how significant our words can be to other people:) We should try to find the good things within others and support them to the end. I can’t even believe in a world without Disney! What would have happened if Disney had been discouraged and just given up…


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