Everyday we come across many people and things. With each encounter, we have the choice to make a positive impact on the person we came across or the thing we touched or utilized. This is a difficult mission to accomplish with people when I am in a bad mood, too focused on other things (or Zane), don’t feel like making small talk, in a rush, and/or don’t click with the person. As with my interactions with the environment, nature, buildings, etc., this too is hard because they’re just “there,” and if I do not treat them well, they will not let me know verbally. Regardless of my own self-focus, it is so important to be in the moment and to spread love, grace, and appreciation wherever your day takes you. For example, several weeks back, we had a handyman doing work at our house. It was nearly 100 degrees out so the heat was affecting him and I in terms of mood. Zane was also grouchy due to it and for other reasons. The day had not started off well for Zane and I, and the handyman was not making it any easier due to his late arrival time. My selfish desires and lack of discipline really wanted to yell at him and give him a mouthful. I felt he partly deserved it and I frankly wanted to take out my frustrations on someone else. As a little bit of it leaked out, I stopped myself, apologized for my potential rudeness, and explained it was a rough day. This approach and willingness to open up on my part encouraged him to share about his rough day and difficult time getting his ADHD medicine. Our exchange was brief because then Zane and I went to nap, but what a difference that outcome was compared to how I thought it might otherwise play out. Witnessing the beauty of our genuine human interaction reminded me of the title of this post because I could have left him (and myself) worst off than where I was prior to speaking with him. But after our conversation, it was a relief for me to vent and for him as well. I believe our days got better after that. So my encouragement to you is to always think about how you can leave someone feeling better than they did when you encountered them. Whether it is via a smile, a listening ear, a hug, a word of encouragement, etc. And when you interact with things and the environment, take care of them and do not mistreat them so that the next person can enjoy their beauty and utility.
Do you have an example you’d like to share of this mindset?