Brighten your corner
Have you noticed the great difference between the people you meet?
Some are as sunshiny as a handful of forget-me-nots.
Others come on like frozen mackerel.
A cheery, comforting nurse can help make a hospital stay bearable.
An upbeat secretary makes visitors glad they came to see you.
Every corner of the world has its clouds, gripes, complainers, and pains in the neck-
because many people have yet to learn that honey works better than vinegar.
You're in control of your small corner of the world. Brighten it...
(A message as published in The Wall Street Journal
by the United Technologies Corporation, Hartford, CT 06101)
I love this little poem. I found it when I was in a business class. It was in my textbook and was part of an advertising campaign. I thought it was amazing and have kept a copy ever since. To me, it is an example of attitude and how important it is to us each day of our lives. Part of 'brightening our corners' involves being thankful for our blessings. There is good and bad everywhere you look, but it is actually your choice how much of each you see. One of the blessings that comes from gratitude is that we start seeing more things around us to be grateful for. We notice the little kindnesses, we see the sweet looks, we enjoy the soft words. We start to notice and pay attention to the people and things in the area around us.
I know that we all have things in our lives that we are thankful for. Sometimes, the things that we are most thankful for get a little overshadowed with the things that are holding our attention at the moment. So, when was the last time you said "thank you". When was the last time you looked around at your many blessings and got down on your knees to thank the Lord for giving them to you?
It is completely up to us how we choose to brighten our little spot of the world. Most of us will never be famous, we will never be great inventers or poets or performers. Most of us are just ordinary people who are trying to do the best that we can. There are so many things in our lives to be thankful for. If I stop for a moment and think about all of them, I am so amazed. But if I don't make myself stop and think about the simple, abundant, good around me, I can miss so many of those wonderful things. I can become lost in the darkness that is waiting to oppress me.
One of the things I have learned about Satan is that he gets to us through the little things. Do you think that he is happy when he hears you be grateful for things? Do you think he wants you to remember all the good that you have been given? I don't think so. He gets to us with little half-truths and lies. When we start to feel gratitude for the world around us, we bring his little lies into the light and can more easily dispute them. By expressing genuine needs, emotions and thanks, we help our kids (and friends/family) know that simple kindness can and does make a difference.
So, perhaps my greatest purpose in writing this today is to express my appreciation and gratitude for my family. They are the ones who support me in every task. They are the ones who give me the strength to continue to move forward and to try harder to make a difference in my own corner of the world. It is my children and their spouses and my husband who were at my house when it flooded, and gave up their time (and vacation) to get the mess cleaned up. All the ice in all the boxes and all the trips to the dump. It is those same children who cleaned and scrubbed the house so that it was glowing! All together, they made my small corner a lot brighter and better. I am so thankful for them. I am especially thankful that they were there for me when my own brain went numb! It is so hard to know what to do when disaster happens to you. I hope and pray that those most important people in my life realize how very much I love and appreciate them. May you each express your love and appreciation to those around you. And may you do it more often and more abundantly!
"At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us." ~Albert Schweitzer (1875 – 1965)
"Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone."
"Gratitude on a daily basis means we express appreciation for what we have now without qualification for what we had in the past or desire in the future."
-- Bishop Robert D. Hales (April 1992 LDS general conference)