Sign up to be notified of new posts and comments.
Leaving a Place Better Than You Found It
We’re leaving our housesitting house this morning after a two-week stay.
One day while we were here, Larry had nothing to do while I was writing, so he just started cleaning the stove. He noticed that the light in the range hood was grimy, so he took it apart and cleaned it. And then he cleaned the burners.
In the bathroom, clean towels had been left for us, but also there were unwashed towels on the rack, so we washed all the towels last night.
This reminded me of something I noticed in Larry when we first met. Larry always wants to leave a place in better condition than he found it.
The first time I saw this in him was when we were walking down a street in San Francisco. Suddenly he stopped walking, bent down to the sidewalk, and picked up a nail. I hadn’t even noticed there was a nail. When I asked him why he did this, he said, “Because I don’t want someone to step on it and hurt their foot.” I was actually dumbfounded because it had never occurred to me to do something that would benefit another person I didn’t even know. Well, no, at this time I was writing about eliminating toxics from homes and that was benefitting others I didn’t know, but that was giving information so others could take actions to benefit themselves. Larry was taking a physical action that would prevent harm to an actual person that may walk on that sidewalk.
Since, I have seen Larry do this many times, and it has actually evolved to where both of us now have as a standard practice to improve conditions wherever we are and with whatever we are doing.
Many little actions add up to improving conditions in a big way.
For us, “improving conditions” means making something more safe, bringing more order, contributing to sustaining Life, expressing more love, communicating when needed…Our general intention in life is simply to make things better for everyone concerned.
Larry won’t say anything to our house-sitting host. It will just be noticed by him that everything is neat and orderly, his mail is in a pile on the entry table, towels are folded, there is a pile of wood next to the wood stove along with kindling to start a fire.
Leaving the world in a better condition is a bit more difficult. But we are working on it.