Count That Day Lost
by George Eliot
If you sit down at set of sun
And count the acts that you have done,
And, counting, find
One self-denying deed, one word
That eased the heart of him who heard,
One glance most kind
That fell like sunshine where it went --
Then you may count that day well spent.
But if, through all the livelong day,
You've cheered no heart, by yea or nay --
If, through it all
You've nothing done that you can trace
That brought the sunshine to one face--
No act most small
That helped some soul and nothing cost --
Then count that day as worse than lost.
I carry this poem in my mind often. Usually, it is when I am at the end of my rapidly fraying rope and I feel like I have nothing left to give. The last few days have been like that.
I carry it with me as a reminder, not that I expect to have good things done for me, but if I don’t teach the girl to do nice things for others, where will she learn it?
Sometimes, those nice things are just making sure we call grandma on the computer.
Sometimes, it is offering the older gentleman walking down the street a ride home.
Sometimes, it is just waving bye to the neighbors as they back out of the driveway.
And sometimes, it is letting the girl drink the bathtub water because she thinks it is funny.
It is hard to remember to try and brighten other people’s days. But those small acts of sunshine spread and pretty soon, everyone’s day could be a bit brighter.
Sidewalk Flowers by JonArno Lawson
One Zillion Valentines by Frank Modell