When you encourage others they shine.
When the people around you shine you feel better too.
I remember reading some parenting book from the fifties once, it was given to me as a gift when I was having babies.
This line stuck in my head, "Always dress your children well and keep them clean, it's easier for yourself and others to be nice to good looking children."
Well, there it is.
Ugly dirty three year olds with drippy noses and dirt on their faces and hands can be a turn off, let's face it.
My thought here is that the dogs, the children, the friends, the husbands, are all this way, for you.
If you treat them poorly, then they will scowl at you.
The world through your own set of two eyes is only as good as you treat it.
I'm on my goodness and kindness kick, obviously.
But it makes me think of aesthetics too, which I love just about as much as goodness and kindness, which is a trap for me to be careful of.
If I get mad at anyone who messes up my beautiful surroundings, then people who live with me won't have fun, at least not when I'm around.
And if they don't have fun because of me then they'll look at me with mad faces.
If I see these faces I will tell myself, "damn that old man I live with is an ugly old grouch, I gotta get away from him, he's bringing me down."
But if I'm kind and encouraging, if I'm fun and gentle to be around, then I see the light shining in everyone's eyes.
I get to see their light because they are willing to shine it in my direction.
And then I say, "Oh my God, he is so cute, I love him so much."
This works, I know it does.
If you're surrounded by dysfunctional people who can't get a smile on their face no matter how nice anyone is to them, then you might need to get the hell out.
But if you're the one bringing everybody down, then you need to change.
Also, the more you can embrace true kindness and goodness the more the willing people around you will do so as well.
It'll just keep getting better and better.
Make sure your inner house is clean, make sure your inner path is swept clear of the crap that's holding you back.
Make sure your inner rooms are beautiful.
It's not your organizational skills.
It's not your talent.
It's not your attractiveness.
It's your ability to cultivate a garden of goodness and kindness in your own soul.
If you do this, you will be surrounded by beauty and love and joy for all of your days because that's all the world will show you for miles and miles.
I believe this.
I'm doing it one day at a time.
I feel like a sunny Sunday morning in May, on the inside as well as on the outside.