This blog post was written by Bend Soap Company’s Chief Operating Officer, Travis Tuttle.
I love this time of year! I love the fall leaves, winter snow, holidays with the family, and the wonderful teachable moments that arise as my kids are inundated by our commercialized society.
The marketing messages all promising happiness through stuff is practically inescapable. My wife and I determined early on that we weren’t going to try to keep our boys away from flashy marketing that would stoke their lust for stuff, but instead, would do our best to use those moments to teach our boys important life lessons.
We want our boys to realize that it’s better to give than receive. Convincing a 4 year old of that truth is no easy task, but it’s great to see their joyful response when they begin to get it.
One way that we've tried to instill this in them is by challenging them to pick out toys that they enjoy and can take and personally give to children who don’t have many toys. The first time this happened, the boys all cried as they were faced with the thought of having to give away one of their prized toys. But once they pulled themselves together and handed off their toys, they were thrilled by the response of the kids receiving the gifts. That experience had a significant impact on them and set the stage for us to teach them another important lesson.
“The purpose of your life is not to be happy but for your life to matter. If you set out to find happiness by itself, you will never find it. If you have a life that matters, happiness will come.” That’s a profound statement that I read years ago in a terrific little book called A Life That Really Matters by Danny E. Morris.
That profound statement had a significant impact on me. The idea of living a life that matters is constantly on my mind. But it begs the question: what does it mean to live a life that matters?
“The purpose of your life is not to be happy but for your life to matter. If you set out to find happiness by itself, you will never find it. If you have a life that matters, happiness will come.”
I recently read a book called The Richest Man In Town. It was a story about a man named Marty who was a greeter and cashier at WalMart. He didn’t have a fancy title or a big influential role, but he had a significant impact on countless people in his town by simply being intentional about showing kindness and love to the people that came through his line at the store. The author, V.J. Smith, shared that, “Few people can actually change the world. Marty showed me that you can change your world. Along the way, you have the opportunity to be a powerful influence on the lives of other people, no matter your position in life.”
The story of Marty was a great encouragement and reminder to me that it doesn’t take grand gestures to have a big impact. You can life a life that really matters by simply extending little gestures to others, and those little gestures can have a big impact.
That’s one of the reasons I was excited to come work with Bend Soap Company! When I was considering the job, I saw countless customer testimonies on their website talking about how grateful they were to have found skincare products that relieved their eczema and sensitive skin issues. I wasn’t passionate about soap, but I knew I wanted to work somewhere that my efforts would have a positive impact on other people's lives.
That is a passion that’s shared by everyone at Bend Soap Company; we all take great joy in knowing that, in some small way, we’re getting to enrich other people’s lives.
While my 4-year-old is still more excited by seeing a gift wrapped with his name on it than he is about the prospect of giving to someone else, our boys are learning that giving to others is a wonderful experience! I’m grateful for the holidays because they give us countless opportunities to remind our boys that small acts of kindness can have a big impact. It’s a great lesson for them to learn and a great reminder for us.
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