April Jeppson: A deep thought about life for the day

Published 8:45 pm Friday, October 27, 2023

Every Little Thing by April Jeppson

Once there was a wise man. Every day he would sit outside a gas station in his rocking chair and wait to greet motorists as they passed through his small town. As he sat and watched the people come and go, a visitor began looking around as if he were checking out the area for a place to live. The stranger walked up and asked, “So what kind of town is this we’re in?” The older gentleman slowly turned to the man and replied, “Well, what kind of town are you from?” The tourist said, “In the town I’m from, everyone is very critical of each other. The neighbors all gossip about everyone and it’s a negative place to live. I’m sure glad to be leaving. It is not a very cheerful place.” The man in the chair looked at the stranger and said, “You know, that’s just how this town is.”

April Jeppson

An hour or so later a family that was also passing through stopped for gas. The car slowly turned in and rolled up to a stop in front of where the older gentleman was sitting. The father stepped out of the car and asked the man, “Is this town a pretty good place to live?” The man in the chair replied, “What about the town you are from? What’s it like?” The father looked at him and said, “Well, in the town I’m from, everyone is willing to lend their neighbor a helping hand. There’s always a hello and thank you everywhere you go. I really hate to leave. I feel almost like we are leaving family.” The older gentleman turned to the father, “You know, that’s a lot like this town.” Then the family said goodbye and drove away.

Email newsletter signup

When I heard this story a few months ago, all of my insides shouted, “Yes!” This is truth. Time and time again, I’ve seen this played out in the lives of my friends and in my own life as well.

What you spend your energy on, grows. If you look for yellow cars, you’ll see yellow cars. Lots of expressions and quotes but they all point in the same direction.

You can’t run away from a problem when the problem is yourself.

The happiest people I know are the ones who are focused on bettering themselves and the lives of those around them. They are not concerned with keeping up with the Joneses, and they definitely aren’t keeping a tally on the actions of others. They understand that true happiness is an inside job.

Your marriage, job, city, house — if you sat down, I guarantee you could make a pretty long list of complaints about any one of these things in your life. I could also guarantee that you’d feel saddened or angry afterwards as well. Or you could make a nice long list of all the things you have to be thankful for. I can promise that you’ll feel much better if you choose to make the second list.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams. Her column appears every Saturday.