Leaving It Better

I keep a tidy ship.  That entails putting things away; leaving an area the way I found it.  Actually, one teacher taught us to leave things better than you found them; e.g., always tidy up the Ladies’ Room; or when hiking, don’t litter, pick up the litter.

How about we take this a step further?  Putting this into practice in our dealings with people?  By the time we leave the room, wouldn’t it be awesome if everyone were better off than before we entered?  (It sure beats the alternative.)  Can I turn someone’s frown upside-down?  Can I take the conversation to a higher plane?  Is there a deep-seeded dynamic in this little circle that needs repair?  People, places, and predicaments—pro actively planned: “How can I leave this better than I found it?”  I do like the sound of this.

My daughter inspired today’s blog.  I caught her scrubbing window slots.  I thanked her for her wherewithal and added, “You’re a pickier housekeeper than I.”  Her response was simply this: “If I don’t do it, it’s just going to get worse; I’d rather make it better.”

It boils down to stewardship—of our friendships, hardships, and tidy ships.  It’s about doing unto others as we’d have them do to us.  We’ve been entrusted with spouses, children, friends, homes—yes, even a planet.  In this disposable society full of people with more gaming skills than responsibility, perhaps it falls to those of us paying attention – to improve how we live, work, play, and love.

As I tie this up (neatly), I am reminded of the big picture.  Am I making a positive difference?  Am I a curse, or a blessing?  Is how I speak and work contributing to the solution, or to the problem?  What can I do to leave things better than I found them?  When I’m gone some day, what will be my legacy?

Uh…  Don’t answer that; I hope to have a little more time.

 

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2 Responses to Leaving It Better

  1. Tamz says:

    My dad used to give a penny to us (and later to the grandkids) for every piece of trash we could find in our camping spot. We always left it better, and it was fun too.

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