Have you ever seen a mother duck taking her ducklings out for their first swim? She waddles her way to the water’s edge, and her crew follows so close they end up bumping each other, stepping on webbed feet, squawking back and forth. The mother goes in first, hoping her babies will follow.
A brave few hop in behind her, peddling their legs as fast as they can, feeling the strange yet exhilarating sensation of floating atop the foamy crest. The others stay on land, high-stepping in whatever direction their mother swims as she calls to them, encouraging them to jump for it.
It is this gentle coaxing that gives the ducklings the courage they need to dive in, and one by one they follow her leading, trusting that she knows what she’s talking about and that she won’t let them fall. Soon the whole group is reunited, paddling around together.
With Mother’s Day around the corner, I have to thank the mothers in my life for their leading, love and encouragement. I believe that we all have gifts and talents, and we need family and friends who encourage and support us as we stand at the edge of our major life decisions, career or otherwise, ready to take a leap.
You see I wasn’t one of the brave ones who dove in first. I got my degree, took jobs that were well suited for me, but they didn’t necessarily challenge me. It wasn’t until I started listening to those around me who gave me the push I needed to reach my potential that I actually jumped in, and when I did I finally felt like I was doing what I was created to do.
Sometimes we will be the mother duck, encouraging, leading. Other times we’ll be the ducklings. Look for giftings in those around you, and cheer them on as they pursue their endeavors. You may be the gentle nudge they were waiting for. Once they see someone is behind them, you’ll get to see the best part—the expression on their face when they’re splashing around in their destiny for the first time.