March 21

Today's quotation:

If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love.
Don't be surly at home, then go out in the street and
start grinning 'Good morning' at total strangers.

Maya Angelou

Today's Meditation:

It really is amazing how easy it is to save our best for strangers.  Perhaps we have too many expectations at home, so it's easier for us to be critical and judgmental of those at home when our expectations aren't met.  Perhaps we're just so familiar with people at home that we don't take the time to consider what they might really need from us.  Perhaps we're just so desirable of getting people's acceptance that we work harder to get it from strangers, since we feel that we already have it at home.

No matter what the case, the people in our own houses need our love and respect just as much--if not more--than total strangers do.  And we have much more influence over their lives than we usually think--a smile and a few words of encouragement can be so much stronger when it's coming from someone I love than it can be from someone I don't even know.

What we do at home regularly will stick with us--and the people who love us--almost forever, in one way or another.  Too many people save their best for the office or the co-workers or the classroom, and they bring home their problems and frustrations to the people they live with, rather than the love and compassion they could be sharing.

A peaceful and compassionate world starts in the home.  If there is no peace in the home, it's been said, there will be no peace in the world.  And in the same way, peace in the home begins with you, and with me.  Bring peace and joy, and share it freely and unconditionally, without any artificial expectations concerning how others should react, and you'll find that soon your home will be a loving, caring haven in the world, a place where everyone loves to come home to--even those who don't live there.

Questions to consider:

What do you bring to your home and the people who live there?

What do other family members bring to your home?  Are they aware of what they bring?

Can we really love others if we're not able to completely and unconditionally love those in our families?

For further thought:

It is easy to love the people far away.  It is not always easy
to love those close to us.  It is easier to give a cup of rice
to relieve hunger than to relieve the loneliness and pain of
someone unloved in our own home.  Bring love into your
home for this is where our love for each other must start.

Mother Teresa


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