Brighten the Corner Where You Are!, Larry James

Have you ever just been doing what you were doing and a thought from the past popped into your mind?

It suddenly interrupted whatever you were doing and you silently wondered where that thought came from and why?


When I was a little boy, my mom and dad were ministers of a church in a little town high on a hill in Owingsville, Kentucky. My mother wasn’t the best piano player but she was the only one the church had. It was an old fashioned church and during the services she would sometimes call out the name of a hymn and the page number.

Everyone would turn to the page in their hymnal and she would begin to play and everyone would begin to sing:

  • Brighten the corner where you are!
  • Brighten the corner where you are!
  • Someone far from harbor you may guide across the bar;
  • Brighten the corner where you are!

Ina Mae Duley Ogdon – 1872-1964 and Charles Hutchinson Gabriel – 1856-1932

Tonight I had one of those moments. For no reason at all, this hymn popped into my mind and I silently began to hum the tune in my mind. Within seconds I was listening to a voice on my TV telling me to “make your deposit” everyday. In other words, brighten someones corner by showing appreciation, extending a kindness, saying “thank you,” etc.

I suppose I am writing this to let you know that regardless of who you are or how you are feeling in this moment, you always have the choice to brighten the corner where YOU are and do the same for someone else.

You obviously can’t know what you need to do if you’re not even paying attention. Be alert! Observe. LOOK for opportunity to be of assistance to someone. IF you are in a relationship… start there!

“Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness, and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.” ~ Og Mandino

Are you or your partner or someone you know

living a life of quiet desperation?

People need to be acknowledged. Drop a compliment. Some just need to be noticed. People you meet everyday may just need a smile or a kind word.

They may need compassion at the very moment that you showed up in their life.

Send a nice e-mail. Be friendly to a stranger. Help someone in need. Be someone’s committed listener. Hold someone’s hand. When someone you know is in need, sometimes it’s just good to be there. Sit with them. Talk. Listen.

Mahatma Gandhi once said that “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

Do a chore for a shut-in or give a ride to someone you know. Express your love to others. Write an unexpected “thank you” note to someone who you look up to. Share how they have contributed to your life. Open the door for someone and play doorman for 10 minutes.

Today I am asking everyone who reads this to go out of your way to be of good cheer to “everyone” you meet. Strike back against the selfishness and greed of our modern world, and help out a fellow human being today. Comfort someone in grief. Get in touch with a old friend who may just need to hear your voice. Lug your elderly neighbor’s groceries up her steps. Genuinely care for others.

The kindness you extend to others springs from a variety of motivations. Don’t do it to get something, however there are reqards. Do it because you can. Share some happiness today! I assure you that it will bring more meaning to your life. You can do that… right?

Out of curiosity I decided to see if I could find someone who might be on who would have a video of this song. I did. Listening to this song brought back some long ago memories and I must admit, brought a tear to my eyes as I remembered my mother and father and the great work they did.

Doing right for others means doing right for ourselves. Helping our fellow man has long been seen as an altruistic behavioral model. It brightens our own corner too.

It’s a win-win situation!

Thanks to

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