One of my favorite songs we sing at my church goes like this:
Have I done any good in the world today?
Have I helped anyone in need?
Have I cheered up the sad? Made someone feel glad?
If not, I have failed indeed.
I really like it for two reasons: 1) the message is, obviously, the bomb and 2) I can do a really cool jazzy version of it while singing in the shower.
The ear doctor loves hearing this version at 6:45 in the morning while he is still trying to eek out a few more minutes of sleep.
Most of the time I feel like my days may tend toward this definition of failure. I spend an annoying amount of time worried about my own world and making sure my own needs are met.
But last night was different. The girl who lives with us has been feeling stressed, overwhelmed and under prepared for her college classes. I remember feeling the exact same way my freshmen year of college. Between homework and social life and all the rest it seemed like everyone around me had things organized and figured out so much better! Then I remembered how I fixed that feeling. I got myself a huge desk calender and wrote everything down. So, I bough her a desk calender and showed her the glory of color coding.
After an hour of combing through sylabiiiii (how many i's are in that word?) and looking up airplane itineraries for the holidays we had everything written out. And there was a lot of things to write down. I'm not sure if she immediately felt better, but I could tell she was happy that we'd at least got it all down.
And so I'd probably consider that a successful day.