Do you remember those things you mother always said to you? Do you also remember when you realized those things she said were meaningful to life? One of the things my mother used to always say was, "Always leave a place better than you found it". She was referring to cleanliness. She taught me when I stayed at someone's house, before leaving I should put clean sheets on the bed, empty the trash and make sure the rooms I used (including the bathroom) looked better than when I arrived. I value this lesson and still live into it.
It is a joy for many reasons to have my parents visit us, but one of those reasons is because my mom lives into this advice she gave me as I was growing up. As I have gotten older, I realize there are other meanings to the saying, "leave a place better than you found it.” As a leader, I hope each place I go, and each person I talk to feels like they are in a better place afterward. A better place can be:
- A word of encouragement or inspiration
- A challenge to think differently
- A newly-found confidence that something can be accomplished
- An understanding that was not there before
- A deeper awareness of oneself....
The list could go on and on. The point is I hope you have had the privilege of having someone in your life that makes life a better place for you. I am grateful for these people in my life and I want to live into being a person who makes life a better place every day. Sometimes these people are in your life for a long time, and sometimes it is a brief encounter. Either way, they left "the place" - your life - better than they found it mentally, emotionally or physically. How about you? What do you do to leave a person or place in better shape than when you first entered? Whose life have you made better today?