Leaving People Better

This weekend made three weekends in a row that S and I went on a spontaneous road trip.
Last weekend we said goodbye to S’s sick uncle. Yesterday, we buried him. IMG_4760.JPG


(Tobacco farm in Tennessee, with tobacco hanging in racks on the right)

Funerals are a natural cause for reflection. As I sat with S’s family – now my family – I thought about how each person had a relationship with the man who died. Relationships change both people involved, even if it’s just a little.



(Farm in Tennessee)

Some relationships leave people better.
There are relationships that push us to grow, that stretch our intelligence, that wrap us in strong acceptance. There are relationships that encourage us, that help us find adventure, that offer us advice and guidance.

We all have an effect on others, but do we leave them better?



(Barn in Tennessee)

The way I see it, there are 2 ways to be a person who leaves people better:
1) The exhausting way
2) The natural way

Walking around and measuring each word we say, forcing ourselves to come up with encouraging things, is exhausting. It may work for a while, but it would be difficult to keep that up and remain sincere.

A more natural way would be to change the way we see people, the way we see everyone. If we begin to focus on positive thoughts, feelings, and impressions, it will only be natural to notice things we like and appreciate in others. Then, we just have to voice our thoughts.

IMG_4748.JPG(Farm in Kentucky)

People never get tired of being complimented. It doesn’t matter if it’s their nail polish, parenting skills, cooking ability, or talent. People are valuable, and we should remind each other of this.

And who knows – maybe you’re the only one to tell that woman that she’s a good mom. She deserves to hear it. We all do.


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