When I was a kid, I spent a lot of time with my grandmother. She lived alone and I would often stay over at her house and go to school straight from there. I loved my sleep overs, except for the fact that she always made me eat oatmeal in the morning before I went to school. I hated oatmeal but she told me that it would keep me full and make me strong, so I obliged. In full disclosure, I love oatmeal today.
We lived in a very small town and I worked a paper route delivering the local newspaper. When I would return from my route, we would sit down and count out the change I had in my pocket from the money I had made along the way. Up on the shelf she would keep a mason jar. Once we had seen what I collected, she would take down the jar and half of what I made would go in the jar and the other half she said I could spend however I wanted. We did this repeatedly over the course of the time that I continued my route.When I asked her why we were doing this, she explained to me how she struggled through her life, that she wanted me to go to college and she wanted to make sure that I always had something. She would tell me that as long as there was money in the jar, I would never be broke. I sort of understood it at the time, but later in life I would learn what it meant even more.
For years, I kept a $50 bill folded and tucked in my wallet so that I would never be broke, even in the bleakest of times. To this day, I have a jar (no longer a mason one, but electronic) that always makes me think of the lesson she taught. As I went through life, that jar became a symbol of so many things for me. I encountered people whose jar was empty that I could help fill a little. I encountered those whose emotional jar was empty that I could help nourish. Most of all, I revered the fact that it meant so much to my grandmother to see that my jar was never empty that I honored her by making sure that it never was. I also honored her dream and went on to get my Associates Degree, my Bachelor of Science Degree in Business and finally my Master of Business Administration in Global Management. To this day, when I see a mason jar I think of her and smile. I remember just how important it is for your jar never to be empty and how equally important it is to help ensure that others jars are not empty as well.
Have a great day and remember to be the reason someone smiles.