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Oscar Wilde said, “Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.” I’m sure you know what he was talking about. Those folks of whom your best memory involves a door swinging shut as they walk out of it.

Yet they may not be the most damaging of folks.

It’s those that leave yet somehow still remain. People whose caustic words sting even after the sound has died away. The fellow whose bad performance makes everyone question if the job is valid in the first place. A false teacher whose lies still confuse even after they’ve moved down the road. They leave a stain behind that someone else has to clean up.

You can’t do much about those people but you can make sure you’re not one of them. We have a motto we use at camp, ‘Leave the place a little better than you found it.” It is a good motto for life as well. Instead of going out with a thud, leave on a high note. Make a mark, not a stain. Leave a good taste in their mouth, not an unpleasant one.

When you go try to make to make others better, not bitter.

Barry Haynes
Hope church of Christ
Hope, AR

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