Leave Everyone You Meet Better and Happier

Kind gestures cost little but each one can have far reaching effects.

“Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier.” — Mother Teresa

Each interaction is an opportunity to make the world a better place.

Every gesture and comment we make is meaningful for better or worse. Even a decision to make eye contact speaks volumes, especially in this COVID-19 era of masks.

As I ponder Mother Teresa's words of wisdom, I realize just how many opportunities were lost in my haste and selfishness. The people I encountered each day needed kindness and encouragement. I could have provided it at little cost.

It is easy to obsess over opportunity lost, but tomorrow is a new day full of possibility. Before the sun rises again, pause for a moment and realize a few important truths:

  • Everyone struggles in life.

  • Your gestures have lasting impacts.

  • The people you encounter return your gestures in kind.

Each gesture is a potential butterfly effect that ripples out into the world, gathering momentum, cascading in waves of good or bad intentions. The reach of one small gesture is astonishing.

Positively breeds positively. Negativity breeds negativity.

How can you make a difference in the world? Start with the small things: a smile, a warm gesture, a kind word or even a few minutes of engaged silence as you listen.

Share happiness freely. Offer encouragement with wild abandon. Help others and expect nothing in return. Watch in amazement as these gestures are returned to you in business and in life.


Be conscious of how you enter and leave each encounter today. Reflect on the following questions at the end of the day:

  1. How many encounters did you have?

  2. Did you maximize each encounter with small gestures?

  3. How did other people react?

  4. Did the world seem a little brighter?