I loved this story (and the book) from "The Difference You Make" by Pat Williams. It speaks clearly to how powerful sincere words can be. People crave to know that they are significant and we have the opportunity to contribute in that way each day. The amazing thing about the story below is the timing of it. Literally the night after winning the NBA Championship, Julius Erving reached out and touched someone when many would have thought he would be thinking about himself and his accomplishment the night before:
Another story about Dr. J comes from John Gabriel, a good friend. "It was in the days before charter flights," Gabriel told me. "The team got up the next morning after winning the 1983 NBA championship, and the players board the hotel minivan for the drive to the airport. Julius got aboard and sat in the first available seat, putting his arm around the twenty-three-year-old video coordinator next to him. 'Gabe,' Doc said, 'you did a fantastic job this season!' That young video coordinator was me. Doc's words of encouragement have stayed with me all these years. I've never forgotten his kindness."