🎺 Jazz musician, Wynton Marsalis, had a great uncle who cut stone for a New Orleans cemetery. On a small stone, he engraved the words, “Don’t Be Discourage.” He ran out of room for the last “D”.

Marsalis, who still has the stone, said he likes it that way as it keeps it in the present tense.

I wonder about this man who took the time to carve those letters on a stone so many years ago.

Why did he shape those words? There are other sequences of encouraging words to choose from: Smile, pass it on; dive into your dreams; let yourself shine, or the power of now.

Although I may never know his reasons, I would venture to say that his advice is worth more than almost any other three words put together.

Over the years, I’ve learned that we each hold an incredible power— choice.

Regardless of what has happened in the past or the challenges we’re seeking to overcome today (personally or professionally), we have a choice to listen to those three words.

Uncle Alphonse had no idea that his simple act would reach millions of people (his story was later published in the WSJ).

My takeaway is to take the time, no matter how busy I may feel, to encourage others.