Today my thoughts are on a simple children’s book. This book may be for children but I believe if everyone read this book with an open heart and mind the world may in fact change. I read this book several years ago when I was a teacher. I was able to read it during chapel and teach on the principles of the book. It may not have changed any kids in that chapel but it did change me. Out of the hundreds of children’s books I’ve read only a few have stood out to me like this one.
The premiss is simple. Each person carries around an invisible bucket all day long. With words or actions you can either fill the bucket of others making them feel good or dip out of the bucket making them feel badly. Doing this makes you think about every action and word that you speak to someone. Imagine the lady who works at Target with a frown on her face. You can fill her bucket today by speaking kindly, looking her in the eyes, asking how she is doing, and telling her to have a nice day. But wait! Isn’t that her job? She may get paid to do that however wouldn’t it improve your day by being compassionate toward someone else?
If you want to be a bucket dipper you can yell at the cashier, ignore her, continue to talk on your cell phone, or just be rude. As someone who spent many years working retail I can assure you the happiest of customers brightened my day. I will never forget a couple who I helped brought in a small angel pin as a thanks and Merry Christmas to me. They filled my bucket that day and years later I still remember their kind action to me.
Often I have spoken to Daniel about filling my love bucket and what I can do to fill his. When I ask him what I can do to make him feel great his reply is always the same “I’m filled by you being happy”. I wonder how in the world I have been so blessed to have a man like mine. He fills my love bucket everyday but yesterday was especially wonderful. Walking through the grocery he leaves to go wash his hands and comes back with a cup of my favorite coffee. Then later at night as I am laying in bed he sees that I need an extension cord for my phone charger. He walks downstairs, hunts through the garage, finds the cord, and then plugs it in and fixes it for me. I said to him “You really filled my love bucket today” he just smiles at me and with my appreciation I in turn filled his.
“This is so easy, it’s a child’s book.” My retort to that is, if it is so easy then why haven’t we seen real change? Real change comes when we apply the easiest and simplest of principles like pouring compassion, generosity, and kindness into people. Especially to people who you may not think about. I challenge you today to watch your words and pour life into people with your kind words and when you do your bucket will be filled in return.
- Southwest chicken soup
- Pieces of me