You Make the World a Better Place

Recently, as I went into one of our local thrift shops in Evergreen, a woman and her young daughter were also entering. There are two shops in the same parking lot and this was the smaller of the two, so unless one party is only looking into one section, you are likely to cross paths as you peruse the departments. As I was exiting the housewares section, the girl was showing her mom something in hopes of purchasing it. I did not hear the conversation of what the child’s sales pitch was to her mother nor did I hear the mom’s initial response, but as I passed them in closer proximity and earshot, I did hear the mother say no to the purchase and then she added: “You make the world a better place”. She was obviously saying this in praise of what the girl thought they could do with the item if they did make the purchase. As I passed and let her words catch up to me, I smiled and thought to myself what a wonderful end of a discussion to be privy to. It took me a few more steps to have someone else’s words ring through my brain that good things should be pointed out and acknowledged. Upon this realization, I turned and caught the duo as they were nearing. I then relayed how wonderful it was to hear those words that Mom had said to the daughter. I commented that if people could feel and say that sentiment more often, then this whole world would indeed be a better place. The mom smiled and agreed and once more I turned and left them. It took me just three more steps to realize that the Mom deserved to hear those same words and so once again I made an about-face and went back to the duo and said that I wanted to say to her, that she too was making the world a better place. She took the compliment with a smile and a look of acceptance that she then understood how good that can feel.

I finished with the store we were in and made my way to the second, larger store at the other end of the small parking lot. I was lost in thoughts of items and prices and had not noticed that the mother/daughter had also come into this establishment for more shopping. My lack of awareness to familiar faces was interrupted as the mom, nudged me as she traversed the area and said – as I was passing – that I too, made a difference in this world. I chuckled to myself as this had now become a ‘pass it along as you go’ activity.

Since that day, I have strived to remember to say those words in cases where kindness was shown, an award-winning smile was given, or services rendered that were above standard expectation, or really, instead of a thank-you. It has been a beautiful thing to witness how these words are accepted and responded to. So far, without fail, I have noticed a pause in the person’s reaction. Whereas a standard “Thank-You” is polite and expected, I have observed what I perceive as something similar to a ping on the phone or a pin on the map. Something happens that drops a marker onto their psyche – if only for a minute – and allows them to see the ripples they leave by their goodness. A few times, someone else in the circle of conversation has seconded the comment and agreed verbally and with a smile stating that they too knew this to be true of the person the comment was directed to. It’s fun to see positivity swirl up into a treat for all who are near.

Try it for yourself. One – looking for goodness is a really wonderful thing in and of itself, but two – watching how you change the gratitude from a single moment’s act to one that has farther reaching effects is pretty fun and amazing.

Love you and I do know that, “You make the world a better place”


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