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Setting an example of being a positive influence

February 26th, 2008 / 3 Comments

smile world

Do we want to teach our children to make the world a better place?

We can’t all be a Mother Teresa. But we can all make the world around us a better place with just a few simple acts that takes hardly any extra effort from us. When our children see our example, they will catch on to multiplying that positive attitude to others around them.

Three Simple Steps for a Happier World

It’s easy to have a favorable impact on those around us. Begin by merely being more positive in the way we handle every day events. Here are 3 things you can do, without extra cost in time or money:

1. Say “thank you” with hearty sincerity to the people who serve you. Instead of a mumbled “thanks” to the kid at Starbucks or a perfunctory quick “thank you” to the cashier, say a jovial “Thank you so much!” Include a specific detail to show you noticed their efforts.

For example, to the cashier at the donut shop: “Ah, this donut is great. Thank you so much!” To the bagger at the market: “Thank you so much for being careful with my groceries!” To the waitress at lunch: “Thank you so much for your wonderful service!”

2. Use the person’s name that you are talking to as you talk to them. For some reason, we all like to hear our names spoken. It gives us a feeling of camaraderie with people who say our name. Have you noticed that many markets and stores train their cashiers to say your name based on what they see on your credit card? In the same way, in our every day conversation, make an effort to use the person’s name a few times.

For example, the next time the cashier says, “Thank you, Mrs. Smith.”, look on the clerk’s name tag and reply, “Thank you so much, Gloria!”

3. Allow a car to go in front of you, at least once a day. Is someone trying to come out of the driveway, or want to change lanes in front of you? How about waving them on to allow them to cut in front of you? Little courtesies like this will spread just as fast as little annoyances from uncooperative drivers who hog the road. When my older children were just learning to drive, I told them to always allow someone to cut in. Life is too short to bother with road rage. It doesn’t take more than a moment to brighten up someone’s day.

Admittedly, not many of us will have influence on the world as a Gandhi or Einstein, but if we can add a smile to the hundreds of people around us, we’ve made the world a better place. We can show our children that they can make a difference with every act of kindness they show.

Photo by wheat_in_your_hair

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  1. You are definitely right, parents need to model good behavior for their kids. Especially younger kids–their eyes are on us at all times, even when we think they aren’t paying attention. Kids notice everything, and if parents model poor behavior, chances are kids will grow up thinking that it is ok to act that way themselves.
    Very well-written post! 🙂

  2. Thanks Michelle. Keep spreading the love!

  3. […] year ago I wrote a post on 3 ways we can set an example to our children to make the world a better […]


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