My Contribution
tom walsh

  

What will I give to the world today?  What will I add to the experiences of the people with whom I have contact on this day?  I can't say for sure just whom I'll deal with today, but I can decide right now whether I want my contribution to this day to be positive or negative, helpful or hurtful, constructive or destructive, uplifting or not.

Today, I want to contribute pleasantness whenever I meet someone, whether I know them or not.  I don't have to wear a pasted-on smile in order to be pleasant, but I do have to avoid sarcasm or judgment.  When people receive my pleasantness, it may be the first pleasantness of their day, so I'll try to be very pleasant. 

I'd also like to contribute kindness to this new day.  This means that I must use words that are kind and act in a kindly way, avoiding looks and actions and words that simply are not kind.  Perhaps someone will appreciate this kindness and pass it on to someone else.

I'd also like to contribute encouragement.  I'll have plenty of opportunities to do so.  And if I am encouraging, it may just happen that someone else finds the strength and courage to continue something very important to them.

I'll try my best to contribute praise and avoid criticism.  If the praise is sincere, I may just be able to make someone else feel better about him or herself.

I want to contribute peacefulness.   If I can face all of my duties and problems with a quiet confidence, looking calmly for solutions rather than complaining about the way things are, I can act as a role model for peacefulness.  In this way at least I won't be adding to the stressful input of those people who are around me.

It would be nice if I could also contribute some hope to this day, for someone, somewhere.  It could be in the form of letting them know that I've been through what they have, and things worked out okay, or in the form of helping them to see the strengths they have that will help them to do what they need to do.  Either way, the hope they get can be very valuable for them.

I'd also like to contribute courtesy.  I can let someone else have a parking space, I can hold doors open, I can let someone cut in line, or I can simply say "Excuse me" when I walk in front of someone.

There are some things that I want to avoid trying to contribute.  I don't want to try to give someone else my way of doing things and expect them to do things that way.  I really don't need to share my opinions as often as I tend to, except when asked.  I really want to avoid sharing criticism and judgment, and I don't want to issue ultimatums to get people to do things I want them to do.  I don't need to express my anger or frustration all the time, and it probably would be helpful if I refrained from contributing what I know about other people--gossip never helps anyone.

There's a whole day ahead of me, today, tomorrow, and the next day.  What I contribute to each of these days is, in short, my contribution to the world.  So what am I going to do?  Shall I contribute to the positive energy of the world, or to the negative?  The choice always is mine.

  
   


 
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