The young man thought carefully about the words his mother said, mulling them over and over in his mind.
She told the children, “Live your lives so that the world will be a better place for your having been in it.”
“…make the world a better place. …make the world a better place.”
What could I do to make the world a better place? he wondered. Then the thought struck him: Why not start at home?
So the young man began by helping his widowed mother by selling lemonade on street cars on his days off school. On school days, as soon as he came home from school, he carried in the firewood, swept the floor and did all the dishes. Eventually the young man got a job, working his way up and incredibly became one of the first male editors of a very successful ladies’ magazine.
What did the young man do? He started to make the world a better place by starting to make his home a better place. In my last post How To Make Your Home a Better Place, Part 1, I gave three easy ways any one of us can do to instantly improve our homes. Now, there’s even more I can add:
- Smile a little bit every day. If you want to make your home a REALLY better place, smile a LOT!
Research shows that when we genuinely smile, there is a vast improvement in the atmosphere in that place. Of course, this doesn’t count for those “get-rich-quick” kinds of smiles, but for sincere, heartfelt smiles that speak heart-to-heart. So, wrap your children and husband in smiles every day!
2. Greet every one in your family with a cheerful greeting every morning! If you forget, just say something cheerful to them as soon as you remember!
The first five moments of any personal interaction set the tone for later interactions. If a mother growls at her children first thing in the morning, it will surely be a rough day. Conversely, if a mother greets her children after school with a smile and a snack, it can be remembered for decades. Keep those first five minutes of every interaction positive and upbeat!
3. Declutter a little bit every day!
This is one I struggle with on a regular basis. Living in a motorhome, I look at each item and say, “But I really do need that!” For me, though, I need to be truly brutal. I need to remember that every piece of “stuff” I get rid of leaves more room for LIFE! Let’s not stifle our families by smothering them in things. Be willing to get rid of things so you can have a life!
Starting at home, the young man made the world a better place. So did his sisters and brothers – all thirteen of them! One of his brothers eventually became a founding father of a new country in South Africa, while another became a well-loved pastor. Still another saved the life of a drowning sailor, who later became a famous explorer. His sisters, too, made their mark on the world, each in a different way. While one inspired her husband through his writing ministry, another faithfully stood by her man while he ministered from the pulpit. Still another son sat wisely on councils of his land, and another daughter spent her life working among the blind. In all the family, there was not one which did not, in one way or another, beginning at home, make the world a better place.
“Live your lives so that the world will be a better place for your having been in it.” Let’s start at home!
Perhaps you can think of more, many more. Please share them with us!