I can hear my dad (Everett Wiley Wilson) now. I’m playing baseball. Normally I am catching but today I am playing left field (or “left out” as my dad would call it). There is always plenty of time on your hands in left field. Not much action.
My dad is the coach. He wanders down the line and asks me to pick up rocks in between pitches and throw them off the field. “Why” I say in my best indignant tone of voice.If I had thought about it I would have known what his answer would be. It wasn’t the first time he said it. It wouldn’t be his last.
“Leave things better than you found them”, he says. And so … I picked up rocks and threw them off the field. I left things better than I found them. I was no worse for the wear.
That is the way my dad lived his life. It was important to him. It was almost a holy obligation. We weren’t here to take from others. We are here to serve. We must leave things better than we found them. This meant in the simple things in life. Playing baseball. Walking through a room. Work. It doesn’t matter.
My dad taught me lots of great things like that. Simple but very important.
I miss him but he is with me in these important lessons I learned from him. As a father myself, I hope I am passing this along as well.
“Leave things better than you found them.” ~Everett Wiley Wilson