I’ve read and reread a fantastic post by Seth Adam Smith called Marriage Isn’t For You. The idea behind it is beautiful: that marriage isn’t about how happy your partner will make you, but about the happiness you can bring to and create for your partner.
I love the selflessness in his post and I wish the world had a little more of that. I think it’s a great concept and a great attitude toward marriage, but I think it would be even better if we lived life with this philosophy. It’s not what we get from the world, but what we bring to it.
Now, I consider myself a very nice person. I like being nice. It feels good to be nice. But, in thinking about this article, I’ve realized that I’m pretty passive about my niceness. And I’m sure we all are. When an opportunity comes my way, I handle it like most of us would. I ask about your day with sincere interest, I talk with you about your problems with genuine concern. If you ask me for a favor, chances are, I will do whatever I can to help. And at the end of the day when I reflect on the highs and lows of the day, the things that others have done to make my life easier are what I consider first and foremost: so and so complimented me, so and so did something nice for me, etc.
I’m in a very transitional phase, in both my personal life and professional life. The changes are positive ones, but I’m still having a hard time not focusing just on myself and my needs. I think it’s natural, but it’s not exactly where or who I want to be.
Beginning today, I want to proactively look for ways to serve others in whatever way I can, rather than waiting for kindness opportunities to find me – specifically going out of my way for other people. I’m not saying it’s going to be this huge and enormous change or anything. It’s just a personal challenge for me, to see how many people I can help each day. One of my favorite quotes is from Mother Theresa: “Do small things with great love.” And now I intend to live it.