I believe that everyone should strive to illustrate the good within them. Ever since I was little, my beliefs have been shaped around my family’s three family mottos which make it simple to demonstrate the good from within: 1) Be optimistic, 2) Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, and 3) Always do your best. By following these three short statements, I live a much more positive, rewarding life.
Be optimistic. Whenever that special picnic planned for a beautiful, sunny afternoon encountered a cloudy, rainy day, my parents never complained about the weather. Instead, we set up a blanket in our family room and enjoyed a lovely indoor picnic. Looking at everything in an optimistic fashion leads to a more cheerful, less stressful life. Every time something doesn’t quite work out the way you had hoped, just focus on all of the positive outcomes. “Life is not measured by the breaths you take but by the moments that take your breath away.”
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. This statement must be told to children countless times throughout those elementary school years. Treat others as you want to be treated. Why should anyone deserve less than you expect to receive yourself? It should be a natural instinct to be kind to fellow humans so everyone leads the life they desire. People should be thoughtful about others’ feelings and think before they act. Remember: “Speech is a gift; like flowers it must be arranged prior to delivery.”
Always do your best. Not just in your work or with your family. But all the time. No matter where you are, what tasks you are faced with, wherever your travels take you. Hold the door for the mother with the baby stroller, pick up the fallen coins dropped by the old man at the checkout counter, smile at the mailman as he passes by. These small generosities will be remembered and will be passed on throughout each and every day. Doing your best is appropriate for every part of your life, even when life is difficult and it seems impossible to give your best effort and continue on. “When life presents us with difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure.”
If these three mottos – 1) Be optimistic, 2) Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, and 3) Always do your best – are practiced through every day of everyone’s lives, the good in people would clearly be visible. How individuals act affects everyone around them, everyone they see and meet; if these actions are good, then everyone will be affected in a positive way, which can only spread the natural good in human nature.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.