Many years ago, I managed a small restaurant. If you have ever been in the restaurant business, you know a good grill person is worth their weight in gold. They don't get paid that way, but they can make or break your business; especially the breakfast business.
The grill cook at this restaurant was a young man, quite adept at his job and f-a-s-t, which is a necessary skill. The one thing he insisted on doing was 'smacking' the pancakes; presumably so they would cook faster. I continuously told him, "Don't do that. You break all the bubbles in the batter and the result is a flat rubbery pancake instead of a light, fluffy one."
He would comply for a few days and then I would see him take that spatula and give each pancake a whack. Finally, after many warnings, I told him if I saw it one more time, he was fired. So he could take his choice: employment or 'do it my way.'
I have told that story many times, especially when teaching my children and grandchildren how to make pancakes. I was never certain if they listened or if they did it my way just when I was watching.
When my granddaughter had her first job, it was as an assistant grill cook at a national chain 'sit-down' family restaurant. She came home and told me this story:
"Ooh, Grandma, you will never believe it but the breakfast cook was making pancakes and when I saw him flatten them, I said, 'My grandma would have your hide if she saw you do that. That isn't the way you make pancakes.' I told him they would be much fluffier if he didn't 'smack' them."
After I enjoyed that thought for a while, I had another. How many times do we 'flatten the bubbles' of our children, our spouse, friends and relatives? They may have bubbles of hope, laughter, enjoyment, excitement, anticipation and delight that just fill them up. But especially with children, we can, with one word or a look, smack those bubbles right out of them. We can ultimately make their lives flat and 'un-light'; just like the pancakes.
God tells us to be encouragers and blessings to people just as he encourages us.