Section 2: INCREASING THE GOODNESS IN OUR LIVES
WATERING SOMEONE’S LIFE
Taking the Time to Care
This is a short lesson that compares the importance of watering our plants to “watering” someone’s life through the small but important things we might do for them. It closes with the admonition not to let your life “dry up and blow away” by failing to do these small but important things.
Let us grow strong roots
Watering and nurturing each other daily.
Those of us who like to grow things know that there’s a lot involved. We have to select our plants, purchase them, bring them home, plant them, fertilize them, and have some patience while they grow. A lot goes into living up to a “green thumb” reputation. But in spite of all this work and attention, there’s one more simple—but very important—ingredient that determines the quality of life our plants will have. Without water, our plants will slowly die and wither away.
Well, our lives, and the lives of others, need water too . . . a nurturing “life water” that quenches another person’s thirst for someone to care. This life water flows from our words and deeds when we do or say something nice for or to someone. A feeling of
Water and Life
,concern, and even love is conveyed when we do kind things for others. This life water is pretty powerful stuff, as it can overshadow difficulties, make people feel encouraged, and even add new growth to the lives it touches.
We create this life water by doing good and positive things for those around us . . .
. . . by smiling and being friendly,
. . . by calling to let someone know we care,
. . . by telling our friends we appreciate what they do,
. . . by hugging our family members and saying thanks,
. . . by stopping and buying the homeless man lunch,
. . . by volunteering to help in our community,
. . . by doing little things that make someone’s life better.
This Life Water Helps You Too
Interestingly, this life water helps the giver as well. Sharing such moments will help you grow in a number of ways. You will be happier. You will feel better about yourself. You will notice others feeling better about you. We don’t often stop to think that we nourish our own lives when we focus our efforts on helping others, but it’s true. Todd Stocker, author of Turning Pain into Purpose, explained it this way:
Helping others is the secret sauce to a happy life.
Putting this watering work into action requires you to make the personal choice to get out your “watering can” of good deeds and kind words (your choices) and start using it to sprinkle others with encouragement and caring. This might seem like a small thing, but this activity is very important. It’s through the efforts of everyday people like you and me that the world gets a little better, that lives are improved, that someone feels cared for . . . that the watering gets done.
The quality of our lives and the extent to which we enjoy living them is dependent, in great part, on what we do for others . . . to what degree we focus on others, not ourselves, and improve the life of another is some way.
The World Needs this Water
This world needs a lot of watering right now. There are so many people who need your smile, your care, your concern, your love . . . people who will benefit greatly from the life water you can provide. They will feel much better as a result of the watering work that you do, and so will you. So don’t let your life dry up and blow away. Get out your watering can and get busy.
Who has “watered” your life recently?
What did they say or do that helped you?
How did it make you feel?
What can you do in the coming week or so to “water” someone else’s life?
(Try to be as specific as possible with your answer.)
Do you believe that people have the ability to encourage other people with their kindness?
Why do you feel this way?