Are you in the Balcony or the Basement?

Most people have plans to accomplish good things in life. Of course there are some exceptions who focus on violence, hatred and other related stuff. Our kids and colleagues may at times disappoint us or even make us boiling mad. It’s at time like this that we tend to start thinking the worst of them and say words which we later regret. Instead of getting worked up, it may help to take a step back and pay attention to why they have behaved in that way. Talking to them to understand why will help us in a big way.

If we take man as he is, we make him worse. If we take man as he should be, we make him capable of what he can be.

Viktor Frankl

Joyce Landorf Heatherley talks about two kinds of people in her book Balcony People. Some people are in the “balcony” of your life, cheering you on, energizing you with their affirmation. Others are in your “basement” doing exactly the opposite. Basement people evaluate others. With their critical judgments of people’s words and actions, they tear away at others’ souls. They make people feel like they are being compared to some unspoken ideal or standard.


In 1975, a young man who was struggling with what to do with his life returned home from college.

One afternoon, he was hanging out at his mother’s beauty salon when a respected elderly woman visited the shop.

She took her seat, saw the young man and couldn’t take her eyes off him. Every time he looked in the mirror, he saw her behind him looking right at him.

The woman saw something in the teenager… something he could not yet see in himself.

Eventually, she spoke what was on her mind.

The woman said, “You know young man, you are going to travel the world and speak or preach to millions of people.”

Then, she wrote those words on a blue envelope and handed it to him.
Her words spoke to his troubled heart, so he graciously accepted the envelope and signed it. Then, he put it in his wallet so he could carry it with him.

Today, Denzel Washington is one of the biggest movie stars in Hollywood.

In an article published in February 2017, Denzel said the woman’s words really encouraged him when he was starting out as an actor.

Believing in someone is indeed priceless!

Here’s a lovely song by Jason Mraz – Look for the good

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