I often work at the newly renovated public library in a neighboring town, which has been designed for collaboration and work, complete with conference rooms, tech-help, a large hall filled with worktables, and a café.
A couple of weeks ago, during my tea-break, as I squeezed Agave syrup into my mug, the top suddenly popped off, and an explosion of syrup landed not only in my tea, but all over the counter. I gathered napkins and began to clean up my mess. Just then a man joined me at the counter and, noticing that I was wiping up the counter and floor, he began to help me out. “You are like me.” he said in a quiet voice. I wasn’t sure how to respond. “You like to leave everything a little better than how you found it.” he added. “Oh!” I replied. “Actually I made the mess in the first place.” I added sheepishly. Considering his words and added, “You are right, though. I do like to leave the world a bit better when I can.”
I have found myself even more aware of this since then. I clean up a little more when I leave a public space, I try to share more positive words, I consider more carefully what I am leaving behind. If we begin to shift our lens to leaving things a little better, to leave behind a little more kindness, a little more compassion – then, when we depart, imagine the better world we can leave behind.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this, please share something below, or reach out by email.