Leave Happier

I recently read through several pages of Mother Teresa quotes. I don’t care if you’re Catholic or not, or Christian or not, or belive in nuns or not, or maintain any sort of moral standard or not: it’s pretty hard to deny that Mother Teresa and her fellow Sisters simply made people’s lives better, and they did it by providing the simple, but very necessary things. They did it with few resources and *gasp* zero capital or plans for income.

You can call it cliche if you happen to be that jaded, but the truth is, they did it with love.

Totally sappy, right? Wrong. I’m no expert on Mother Teresa, but I’m fairly certain she was not about sappy love. She practiced love that gave, love that sacrificed, love that went to people where they were and brought them up out of the depths of despair in her arms. She was known to often talk about giving love “until it hurts” and she wasn’t just a talker. She walked.

What surprised me was Mother Teresa’s focus on each person’s responsibility for loving those closest to them, and the far-reaching effect it can have. This little paragraph stuck with me:

“Spread love everywhere you go: first of all in your own home. Give love to your children, to your wife or husband, to a next door neighbor… Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier.”

Now I can honestly say that I love my husband and my children, but if I continue in that honesty, I also have to admit that some days I am not that great at giving them love. And for every person to leave my presence better and happier, what would it take? A smile? A willingness to listen? A sincere compliment or encouragement? It wouldn’t take a million dollars, I’m sure of that.

I’m not exactly sure what this dark little corner of the Web is going to look like, but my hope is to focus on the challenge above: What if I made it a point to let no one ever come to me without leaving better and happier? 

In what ways can I give love to my children and husband every day? To the rest of family? My neighbors and friends? I hope to figure it out, and I hope that in the process of figuring it out, this place becomes a place that when you visit, you also will leave better and happier, and inspired to offer the same to those around you.

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