I love this quote of Mother Teresa: “We feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.” This year I think I will try and do the little things – smile at someone in the grocery store, be nice to someone who is annoying or just do simple tasks with a smile. There are so many things that people do that are “drops in the ocean” but mean the world to other people, like calling someone who is sick or home-bound, sending someone an encouraging card or email, holding the door for someone, saying “good morning” or asking someone “how are you” and listening to hear the answer...if we count up all the drops of good we do each day, perhaps we can each add another one or two and how many drops of good would be added to this world?
The second quote is by Henry James: “Three things in life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.” When I first read this I thought “I know just who I should send this to.” Of course, that was not a 'kind' thought of mine! So I started over and thought about what a world this would be if every person did one or two kind things each day – or a hundred? Some people always seem to be kind. I certainly can be kinder in my thoughts and actions and plan to try to put kindness at the top of my list everyday.
Gibbs on NCIS said his mother told him just before she died “You think you're alone in the dark. Close your eyes and remember everything good.” When I heard that I thought of my own mother who always seemed to look on the bright side of things. I know she had lots of hard times but she seemed to still look at the gifts she was given, not the bad. She got one of my brother in laws to plant a tree outside her kitchen window because the tree was “waving to her” when she drove by English gardens. A rainy day meant you could put your boots on and go for a walk (not be sad because you couldn't go out and play!), a snowy day meant building a snowman (after shoveling the sidewalk of course!). She always had too many tasks (and some fun things) on her list so being bored never made the list. This Tuesday I was changing the sign in front of church, which is not that much fun especially on a cold or wet day. Cleo from the Alliance walked by and we had a nice chat about the holidays, his kids, what's going on at the Alliance and after he left I exchanged some smiles and hello's with folks walking down the street. Afterwards I thought “that was fun.” Maybe at the end of each day this year I will close my eyes and think of “everything good” that happened. Sometimes that good thing might have started out as a menial task.
As I look at the new year I will try and add my drops to the ocean, be a kinder person and remember the good in each day, each person and each year. Have a happy and blessed 2017!