By Troy Vincent Sr.

Just like being part of a team, our attitudes toward life have a tremendous impact on how we work together toward the common mission. Our actions and our words have lasting impact, and can be the difference between winning and losing, success and failure, and in some cases, between life and death. An encouraging word can change a bad day into a good day, a dire circumstance into one that can be overcome. There is power in your words. And there is power in working together. Everybody has a role to play.

My faith walk commands me to love one another, love my neighbor as myself, show mercy, kindness and empathy to others. This is not a suggestion, but a directive in living a virtuous life. When you celebrate others, honor them in some small way, value them, show that you care, you are not only blessing them with a powerful word of encouragement, but you are also blessed because your words and actions lift up your own spirit.

My wife Tommi is not only an excellent example of this lovingkindness, but also a reminder to me everyday that my life should reflect her words and actions as the best teammate in the world. Tommi is intentional about spending time to encourage each of us in the family. This has been especially noticeable during these times when we have had to stay at home, work from home, live every minute of every day together. She makes each of us feel special and loved, even when she is tired from the day’s events. There is an inspiring phenomena that permeates our entire household because of Tommi’s loving words.

When we think of all that we have experienced since March–graduations postponed or not able to be celebrated; birthdays passed over; family gatherings on hold; significant events, even funerals of loved ones passed—it comes to mind that we should allow no sun to set without telling someone, whether your partner or teammates, that we care about them. We shouldn’t take our relationships for granted, nor the time we have. That “next time” may not come. If we think about someone, we should call them or send them an email. It only costs time, and the benefits are everlasting.

Take time every day to express how much you value your family, your wife, children, friends, business associates. Let them know that they matter to you, not just in words, but also in the specific actions that show your empathy, care, and love. These practices of encouragement can change the world because one uplifting word or gesture passed on to another is passed on and on, lifting up the spirits of all those as it travels. Our words and actions have a multiplying impact.

Let’s commit to always extending love and peace to others, especially of your family and friends, and encourage one another. Practice a spirit of love that it becomes a part of your everyday DNA. Let others know how much you appreciate them. Treat every day like a championship game. Be the champion in someone’s life.