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Rear View Mirror


When I was little, our family rarely went on vacation. Once every few years when we would go somewhere for a weekend getaway, I naturally soaked everything in, and a memory that remains vivid to this day is that of my mom working hard to clean and tidy our rented space before we left.

I remember asking her why she was spending so much time cleaning. As she mopped the floor, she explained, "If we leave things a mess, they'll always remember us for it. And we'll give Koreans a bad name in Canada."

To this day, before leaving a hotel room or Airbnb, I think of my mom as I strive to leave my rented space better off than it was when I arrived.

As we go about our lives, we interact with people for varying amounts of time. Whether our time with another person spans a few seconds or many years, I think it's worth considering if we are leaving them better or worse off for having crossed paths with us?

When we look in our rear view mirror, what do we see? Are we leaving behind feelings of warmth and having been cared for? Or are we leaving behind people in worse physical, emotional, or financial condition because of our choices?

The reality is that to varying degrees, this is exactly what we are doing - we are leaving every person we interact with better or worse off in some way.

If a good number of us walk with the intention to make the world a little brighter for those we share space with, even if it's for a brief moment, we never know when such effort will make a life-saving difference to someone out there.

Sending love to all, and gratitude to my mom for teaching by example.


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