My son, Ben, mowed the lawn for the first time this weekend. He recently turned 12, has excess evening energy and his father was gone. In my mind, that makes him old enough to run power tools.
I was shocked by how well it went. We are too cheap to buy the type of mower that self-propels, so when the grass is long, it can feel like taking down a small jungle.
I watched (TV) from my bedroom while he worked. After about two shows, I figured I should check on him. It was amazing! He was almost done, and the yard looked beautiful!
The next morning, in actual daylight, I could see he didn’t mow quite far enough into the area where our yard meets our neighbor’s yard.
After building him up with compliments, I asked if he would mind taking one more swipe through the area between houses.
“Why?” he wanted to know. “Isn’t that our property line?”
“Well, sort of. I just think it would be nice to go a little further than we need to,” I replied.
“Why?” he asked again. He wasn’t being stubborn. He genuinely wanted to know what I was thinking. Unfortunately, that’s when my brain decided to stop cooperating so I couldn’t come up with a good reason.
Ben’s question of “Why” stuck with me. I’ve been thinking about it all weekend, and I think I’ve finally realized why mowing an extra strip was important to me.
People notice when you do a little less than you need to. They also notice when you do a little more.
As a person who tries to love other people, I want to do a little more for them. Not because it makes me look kind or generous or I’m trying to get them to like me. Nope.
I want to do a little more because I believe in some small way it tells them I see them; I care about them, and I think they deserve the best I can give them on any given day.
When it comes to more or less, I want my kids to be “more” people. I want to teach them to love people well, even if the other person doesn’t notice. That includes throwing away garbage on the floor that doesn’t belong to us and leaving as big of a tip as they can handle when they are served at a restaurant.
There are probably other ways we can be “more” people, but I think you get the point.
More or less.