You have two options: 1) you can empty buckets or 2) you can fill buckets. Choose to fill buckets. We’re lucky in that our 9-year-old goes to an excellent public school in Austin. At 7:30 a.m. every weekday the principal addresses the entire student body in person in the gymnasium. One of the repeated messages is about filling buckets. A simple message to children is very applicable to all ages.
In our daily lives we’re either making deposits or taking withdrawals. We’re either giving or taking. In the emotional sense, we’re either lifting someone up, or breaking him down. Filling a bucket is simply making a deposit in someone else’s life. Rendering a compliment, holding a door open, making a conscious effort to do good and abide by the Golden Rule. When you fill a bucket, you’re making a conscious effort to make someone else’s life better, no matter how small the effort or task. You’re choosing to be selfless.
When you empty someone’s bucket, you’re taking a withdrawal. You’re invariably breaking him down for your own benefit, if you’re conscious of it or not. You’re being selfish. Breaking someone down can cause immediate and long-term damage to both the receiver and the giver (you). Now you’ve got that scarred inventory in your heart and head until you choose to make it right. And you’ve taken away from someone.
Imagine that everyone is carrying with them a bucket that’s not quite full. Do what you can to add to that bucket. Don’t take away. Make someone laugh or smile or blush. A small effort can make a huge difference in a person’s day, and probably make an impact for a lifetime. And make filling buckets a habit. Things that we become really good at become habits.
Try to fill five buckets a day. Fill buckets.