By Joseph J. Mazzella

 It was Saturday morning.

I had been dealing with a dicey stomach bug that had me going in and out of the bathroom for two days.  Still, my cupboards were bare, my refrigerator was empty, and I needed to go to the grocery store to buy another week’s worth of food.  Finally, my belly started to feel a little better so my family and I headed out.  We had a quick meal at a fast food place and then hit the store.  It was packed with people. It took a long time but we finally found everything we needed.  With my trunk full of food then we started driving home. I made one final stop at a convenience store to fill up my car’s gas tank.  As soon as I stepped out of the car, though, the greasy chicken I’d had for lunch kicked my stomach bug back into overdrive. I swayed back and forth while I waited in line to pay for my gasoline. I was just wishing everyone would hurry up so I could get home fast.

When I finally got to second in line the lady in front of me ended up forty cents short and couldn’t find the change she needed.  At that moment my best self woke up. It pushed my selfish self aside, ignored my nauseous stomach, reached into my pocket and placed fifty cents on the counter. The warm smile and kind thanks I received in return were worth far more than a couple of quarters. They were priceless. I went home with a happy heart. I may have had an unsettled stomach but I had a smiling soul thanks to being my best self.

The advice we are all given the most in this life is: “Be yourself!” I would change that to “Be your best self!”  Your best self always asks “How can I help?” instead of “What’s in it for me?”  Your best self always seeks to share love, give joy, and spread sunshine. Your best self always strives to do God’s will each and every moment.  Be yourself then with everyone you meet in this life, but always make it your best self.