Anyone who has spent time with my sister, Bonnie will notice a few things that set her apart from average. You may find her wiping around the sink in a public bathroom, or in her kitchen washing plastic bags and aluminum foil, then storing them for reuse. Some may observe these habits as trivial and unnecessary, but I find them uniquely valuable and a strong reminder of our upbringing.
Though our mother left this realm more than a decade ago, her words still echo a simple direction: “Leave things better than when you found them.” Those words are relevant every time I open the mailbox to find a “just because I love you” card from Bonnie or hear her say, “I pray for your every night.” It’s evident that she is purposeful to do the right thing for the immediate (and perhaps minuscule) result and for the long term.
Recently, I’ve had occasion to evaluate what matters and what doesn’t. It’s not the first time. In fact, I would assume that virtually every human repeatedly ponders whether what they do affects the overall outcome… whether they make a difference. The deal is that if we are not contributing to the good in the world, we are giving the evil more ammunition. The conclusion I come back to again and again is that ALL actions make a difference. That difference may be unnoticeable, or it may make such a noise that it rings for decades! Some have changed the world forever!
Case in point, I believe my children have made the world a better place. In contrast, my words have severed relationships and caused deep emotional trauma, while others have brought significant positive results to a life, a home, a business, a town. The decision to throw a pop can from your vehicle, blow grass in the street, or compliment a stranger means you have added to a positive or negative result! All actions matter and that is how we change the world we live in.