A couple of years ago, I attended a weekend women's conference. I was there to enjoy the company of friends, not really expecting much more than a restful mini vacation.
While there, a speaker -whose name I wish I could remember- asked a question that has stayed with me for a while.
What is your scent?
When you enter or leave a room, is the place better for your contribution or worse? Are you a rose or a skunk?
This comparison drew a few chuckles. However, in this simple question is something profound - the idea that your presence can change the atmosphere of the room.
Of course, we cannot control the minds of people who would like to find fault with us. However, we can be aware of what we are doing, and try to create a sweet-smelling savor in a place, like a rose, or perhaps like a honeysuckle, which is far more pleasant to the senses.
That interaction you and I have with a random stranger at the supermarket, for instance, is not as insignificant as we think. It's part of a larger fabric of human encounters that creates a culture.
It can be a culture of kindness, a culture of indifference, a culture of unpleasantness and resentment; the choices are endless. It all starts with individual moments that you and I have with each other.
You are important. What you do is important, partly because it creates a precedent for the next person and the next generation.
What is your scent? How will you create a honeysuckle moment today?