Two Women Who Can Teach The World That Criticism Does Not Work, Encouragement Does!

Urmila Chanam
Posted December 28, 2019 from India

They say to be able to grow we should learn to take positive criticism (read feedback). Agreed its important to have a reality check every once in a while but in real, the blows that life gives you may be so hard and so frequent that most often in real life , a sapling requires protection from the forceful wind of harsh criticism and unforgiving sun of fault-finding and needs kind words and encouragement .

Encouragement is like gentle watering of a sapling, just the right amount, observing how much the plant needs and can take and all the while being vigilant about the growth and development of the plant. This cannot be possible without love for humanity and goodness. Its not an ordinary person's cup of tea. One day the sapling may have to be transplanted to a bigger pot with more soil or even on the ground. This has been the greatest take-away from World Pulse, to believe in the power of encouragement and love rather than criticism.

The best encouragers who have played a very important role in my life in cheering me up, praying for me when I was sick/down/waiting for a project sanction/travelling abroad on a mission/writing/participating in a competition and at every challenging cross-road that life threw my way, lending me a patient ear to unburden my soul, being kind to me, linking me to fellowships, conferences, funding resources or like-minded people and many other ways they have made me stronger, happier, more fulfilled and hopeful are two very very special women. One is Jill Langhus-Griffin from Spain and another is Tamarack Verrall from Canada.

Little must Jill and Tamarack know that when they were reaching out to me what was the crisis I had been surrounded in or how low I may have felt but the World Pulse Spirit Awards give me the opportunity to tell them, how wonderfully they have saved me so many times and I won't be surprised to find that many other women around the globe may have been recipients of their encouragement.

One incident that comes to my mind is the maturity, patience, endurance and ability to forgive and forget that Jill demonstrated in a conflict situation between women leaders online. Earlier this year there was a debate on a post on Jill's social media where I also commented. To my horror, a woman from her friend circle who did not agree with my point of view chose abusive and humiliating vocabulary to address me. This was a situation where all the women in that debate were united in women's welfare and human rights but due to different communication styles and different levels of patience, a heated conversation was erupting. I found Jill demonstrate mature personality to deal with the differing voices and maintain good relationships with everyone involved. This quality is a very important quality in a woman leader. There may be many women who are exceptional in the work they do and how they pursue their cause but its another leadership quality to be able to hold everyone together, be humble, create peace and forgive and forget so we all can move on and address bigger issues we have to address in this world. And for this I nominate Jill for the World Pulse Encourager Spirit Awards.

Tamarack is a very knowledgeable person and possesses hands-on experience. But what makes her the best encourager is how she employs her teaching skills to mould people, even me, using innovative and meaningful medium. In times when our digital communication is 'K' for okay and 'TTYL' for Talk To You Later where people make the minimal effort to make the other person understand, Tamarack has impressed me with long meaningful messages, mails and even Skype calls where she uses her outstanding teaching skills to communicate. I have learnt how to write to people after observing her. Another exemplary quality of Tamarack is how she can relate to anyone and make the person feel understood. I can never forget when I was covering Orange Festival an annual agricultural festival in north east India in Tamenglong district in Manipur, she would spend time and effort to share knowledge and experience on farming, pest control, fruits harvest and preparing me mentally for my assignment. Though I was oceans away from Tamarack in rural India and then on my own to report from the field, I had an intellectual partner to discuss agriculture with me. Finally, when the Best Orange competition prize went to a woman farmer, Tamarack sent a poem relevant for women's leadership and women farmers. I gave the poem to the woman farmer who was jubiliant to receive such a gift from Canada and a bond was formed linking Canada to Bangalore where I live to this woman farmer who lived in remote village in Tamenglong. I nominate Tamarack for the World Pulse Encourager Spirit Awards for her ability to strike a bond and make a link with any woman in any part of the world.

This story was submitted in response to #SpiritAwards.

Comments 10

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Jill Langhus
Dec 28, 2019
Dec 28, 2019

Hello Dear Urmila,

The wait is over:-) Thanks for sharing your lovely nomination and acknowledgement for Dear Tam and I. I'm glad that we've been a great support system for you, and I am very honored to not only have met you, to be in regular communication with you but also to be put in the same realm as the wonderful, encourager Tam. I must be doing a thing or two quite right...yay!

Thanks for acknowledging the "conflict situation." I remember it very well, and I'm so grateful, and humbled that you feel that I handled this situation with patience, maturity and good leadership! I wanted to make sure that I was gracious to everyone involved but I wasn't sure if I had achieved that, so I'm very relieved to hear that my goal was achieved:-) Thank you for putting my mind at ease and for the great compliment as well!

Also, thanks so much for taking the time to write your lovely nomination for us and posting it, too. I hope you have a wonderful, abundant and wildly successful 2020!!!


Anita Shrestha
Dec 28, 2019
Dec 28, 2019


Dec 28, 2019
Dec 28, 2019

Hi Urmila,
I totally agree with you on this 100%. They put away their pains, hurtfulness, anguish only to encourage us.
And with the smiles on their faces we assume they are fine. Thank you Aunty Tam and Sis. Jill for always being there for us. On behalf of the entire world pulse squad we will like to acknowledge your hard work. You who don't agree let me know.
Have a safe end of year and you all take care of yourselves.

Tarke Edith
Dec 28, 2019
Dec 28, 2019

You are right Urmila
Jill and Tam are women to recon with they really have the world pulse spirit in them.

Tamarack Verrall
Dec 28, 2019
Dec 28, 2019

Dear Urmila,
What a gift your words are here, my dear sister. To be able to be an Encourager here on World Pulse has from the beginning been an open invitation to be in conversation with you all, and I cherish this chance to send some words of encouragement, to acknowledge your amazing work, to let you know how amazing you all are. Encouraging opened the path for you and I to form this deep connection we now have with each other. And being able to send that message through you as one woman who has farmed to another winning that prize, was a highlight. I have told that story since, to let many know that the prize went to a woman that year.
It is an honour to know you, to be able to follow your extraordinary work, and until the day we meet in person, to feel as if we already have.
Deep love in sisterhood,

Anita Kiddu Muhanguzi

Hi Urmila,
Thank you for your post. You have said it all about these lovely human beings. Their words of encouragement keep us going every single day and we are blessed to call them our sister in love.
Happy new year and be blessed always.

Jan 05
Jan 05

Thank you for nominating Jill and Tam. They are indeed has a World Pulse Spirit!!!

Beth Lacey
Jan 10
Jan 10

Yes, Jill and Tam are super women with giant hearts!

Jan 18
Jan 18

Hello Urmilla,
I miss doing this ... reading stories of women I knew since I joined WP. Those two women you mentioned also are very inspirational to me, though I don’t have that much relations with them personally I knew that they are pillars of strength to many of us.

To Jill and Tamarak, thank you for the support you’ve given to the many women in here and in your community.


Jan 22
Jan 22

Hi Urmila,
Thank you for sharing this to us. Hope you doing fine.

Have a nice day dear