So apparently January 26th is, in addition to the other celebrations and observations I mentioned in my Sunday Scribblings, also Toad Hollow Day of Encouragement! Another obscure holiday but I love the story behind it, and of course, everyone benefits from encouraging words always. For I do believe that even a little encouragement can lead to great wonders!
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Here are 13 things to do with encouragement, including the story behind this obscure holiday, books (of course), and more… in this post where I talk about how
A Little Encouragement Can Lead to Great Wonders
The Story Behind Toad Hollow Day
The root of the story: a 1800s-era school house called Toad Hollow Country School in Kalamazoo, Michigan. When a storyteller, Ralph C. Morrison, heard the name of this school, he loved it so much that he created a fictional town called Toad Hollow and used it in his stories. His readers loved the town and when they asked him where it was, his reply was, ‘in your heart’. The stories became so popular that the county set up a whole faux town in a local park to allow Morrison to share his stories. ‘Toad Hollow’ park was run by “voluntoads” and had the appearance of many other historic towns which host reenactments and fairs. While the park/town is no longer in existence, the voluntoads came up with the idea for this day, to connect with others through the heart, to encourage and to uplift with a kind word or deed (source)
Ways to Share Kind Words (& Encourage)
You can share kind words in so many ways. Including making cards to share your kind thoughts with others. Check out Kindness Cards for Kids for inspiration.
Kindness Cards for Kids: 52 Ways to Make Every Day a Little Better Cards by Nuanprang Snitbhan PsyD
Shine your kind heart into the world!
This book is beautiful and inspiring and filled with, as the title says, kindness cards for kids (and others) to use. Plus, it inspires and uplifts simply by the words within!
Smiles Always Help
A smile is another quick method to be kind and goes a long way to encourage others.
“Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.”
And speaking of smiling,
Smizing is There Too
I recall writing about smizing in this post that listed 5 simple ways to encourage others.
Love this Zig Ziglar Quote
Zig Ziglar says it perfectly in this quote about how encouraging others can be so impactful.
“A lot of people have gone further than they thought they could because someone else thought they could”
And a Whole Book too
Here is a book from Zig Ziglar that can give you lots of encouragement: through stories, humor, and more.. Something to Smile about: Encouragement and Inspiration for Life’s Ups and Downs. You can read it here on The Internet Library, or get a copy for yourself here.
Inspirational quotes are always, well, inspirational. And here is one that each of us can use:
“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” – George Eliot
Being Zen (Pencils)
And as I continue thinking of inspirational quotes, I recall this brilliant book (or rather one in a brilliant series) that I have to share with you here. Zen Pencils – Inspirational Quotes for Kids – you can check my review of the book in this post.
One of my favorite quotes from this book is about happiness from Henry David Thoreau –
“Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.”
A Side Note
As I wrote this above, I realized that I used this quote in my Hunt for Happiness post earlier this month, but the attribution (based on the quote source I got it from) was Hawthorne there!? So who is it from? I turned to QuoteInvestigator for the answer, and if you are curious, you can have a look too. Turns out, the original or first version is attributed to someone who wrote to The Daily Crescent paper and signed their name with simply – the letter “L.”
And then There is Hope
Back to the quote itself, in a reversal of connections for my Happiness Hunt post, this quote reminds me of the poem by Emily Dickinson about hope, which is titled ““Hope” is the thing with feathers.” You can read the entire poem here.
Fly, Soar, For You Are Ready!
Speaking of feathers reminds me of quotes about confidence and encouragement by talking about flying. For instance, this one from Erin Hanson:
“What if I fall? Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?”
or this one (attribution: unknown):
“Your wings already exist. All you have to do is fly.”
Back to Toad Hollow
Circling back to Toad Hollow, I discovered there is a winery with that name elsewhere in California, a family-run yarn store in NJ also goes by the name Toad Hollow, and of course the name reminded me of two favorite children’s books. First, the Frog and Toad series, and second, The Wind in the Willows (Toad Hall is a major fixture there after all!)
And Now, the End of This Post
Dear reader, what do you think of this obscure holiday?! 🙂 While I make a note of those that catch my eye each Sunday, I know some are over the top and most are, well, just there, but what I do appreciate about each and every one of them, even the most ridiculous ones, is that they help us pause, give a thought to whatever that day is about at least for a while, and that often makes a difference in one way or another. We might smile at the absurdity of it all, make a choice to celebrate the ridiculous or the sweet or the whatever and feel better for it, or learn something useful or something to share at a party for fun!
Anyway, here is one last quote for you:
Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. – Arthur Ashe
8 thoughts on “A Little Encouragement Can Lead to Great Wonders”
Never heard of this day! I enjoyed this post. It also reminded me of Twain’s short story about frog racing, the name of which I cannot remember at the moment.
Thank you! The story you are talking about is The Jumping Frog of Calaveras County… And I recalled it instantly only because I visited Calaveras County a few times over the last few months 🙂
Cards are a brilliant way to be kind, I am always over the moon with hand written gifts and tokens. Especially in the digital age. Its much more kind and thoughtful.
What an interesting day! It’s so important to lift others up.
I love this holiday. Never heard of it until now. “Wind in the Willow” came to my mind at first mention of Toad Hollow. My heart melts when I think of those stories. Smiles and hellos are easy to share after the first one.
Great quotes. I thought of Frog and Toad right away when you mentioned Frog Hollow. Smiles are contagious and also a non-surgical face lift!
I am a firm believer in positivity as the biggest power to achieve better life. I do think kindness and encouragement lead to achievements way more often than not. Your post and point of view as exactly why I do beleaguered in it.
Where do you find this kind of lovely little story? You truly have a radar for hidden treasures. And I’m saying this to encourage you – and because it’s true. As always, I enjoyed reading your thoroughly elaborated post that’s so educational and thought-provoking without an annoyingly wagging finger.