As I was driving through my neighborhood on the way to work one morning, I noticed a man a block or so away walking up the street in my direction. As I got closer, I watched as he bent over and picked up a cup, put it in a plastic grocery bag he was carrying, and kept walking.
I smiled, realizing that he was using his morning walk as an opportunity to help clean up the neighborhood. My friend Maura used to do the same thing in our neighborhood in North Carolina. I admired and appreciated her for doing it, and I felt the same way about the man this morning.
We get to choose every morning whether we’re going to leave the world a better place at the end of the day. I’m not talking about curing cancer or solving world hunger here. I’m just talking about having a positive impact in ways that are well within our power.
For my friend Maura and the nameless man this morning, picking up neighborhood trash is one way that they leave the world a better place. It’s a small thing, a simple thing, but it has an impact.
There are lots of little ways you can make a difference—smile at the grumpy cashier, pay the toll for the car behind you, drop some canned goods off at the food bank, push your elderly neighbor’s trash can to the street in the morning and put it back in the afternoon. A little bit of kindness, a small act of generosity, something that only takes a minute or two, just might mean the world to someone—and you might be surprised at how much it means to you, too.