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It is believed that this story is by Mary Ellen Edmunds

Once upon a time it was discovered that everyone has a bucket. No kidding. It's a bucket which is kind of like a cup - in that it can be filled - even to overflowing. I guess it's sort of like a source of peace, comfort, love, strength, and such. And the fuller it is, the easier it is to share what's in the bucket with others.
 
There are a lot of wonderful ways in which we can put things in each other's buckets. For example, we can say, "Good Morning!" when we see each other. That's a great way to put something in someone else's bucket. And, you can double the contribution by adding someone's name - "Good Morning, Mrs. Smith!" Other things which can fill up a bucket are hugs, listening, sincere praise, pointing out strengths, being sensitive to needs (and doing something about them when you can), cheerfulness, honesty, patience (almost sounds like a description of THE PURE LOVE OF CHRIST: CHARITY, when you think about it). Anyway, one of the things we all ought to spend time doing, is helping to fill others' buckets.
 
Now.. It must needs be, so they say, that there is opposition in all things. And so, just as we all have a bucket, we all have a dipper. And sometimes, other people can get their dipper in your bucket!! It's been known to happen!
 
Just imagine that we're going out to eat with some friends at a nice restaurant. There'll be fine linens and candles and everything. We're sitting at the table, visiting and I accidentally knock over my glass of V-8 juice. Big red spot. I am so embarrassed. I am turning redder than usual. But, the juice just keeps crawling across the table right toward our hostess. It's like a flood! It won't stop! And, then finally it does dribble on her! She jumps a little, but is being nice even though it's wet and gooey. And then, old bright eyes, down the table a little, looks up and says, "You spilled your juice." He got HIS dipper in MY bucket! Tell me how old you have to be to know you made a mistake?! That you're not perfect?!
 
Can you remember sitting down to breakfast with your family and your little brother spilled his milk? And about 35 people (it seemed) said, "You spilled your milk!" All those great big dippers in such a tiny little bucket!
 
Have you ever noticed that when your bucket is low, or empty - when you need most to have someone put something in it - THAT is when you're most irritable to people? We chase people away when we need them most. We try hard to figure out WHY we run around with our dippers out. We're busy trying to get our dippers in other people's buckets - and they don't want their buckets to have our dipper in it!
 
This is where the trap is. Have you ever noticed that when you get your dipper in somebody's bucket - you're pointing out something wrong with them? You tell them they've got wrinkles in their socks - and they don't have them on yet? You tell her she's moody and then you find out she's got a toothache. You tell someone there's a spot on their face and then find out that your glasses are dirty. You've got YOUR dipper in someone else's bucket! It might feel good, sort of, when you first shove your dipper into someone else's bucket - but after a while it doesn't feel good anymore. 
 
Do you know what a DIP-IN is? It's not exactly like a drive-in or a sit-in - it's when several people get together and just DIP someone good! Next time you realize that's happening, point it out and then stop. "Hey, we've all got our dippers in little sister's bucket! Let's fill it instead of emptying it!"
 
Sometimes you say to yourself, "Self, she's got a LID on her bucket?" Or you may ask, "Hey, does anyone know where I can buy a lid for my bucket? There are a lot of DIPS around this place!" Some of you may even think you don't HAVE a bucket! Or you may feel that your bucket's been shot full of holes.
 
Well, for SURE we're just not the same when our bucket is empty, and that's all there is to it. And, we're not the same when we're dipping instead of filling, and that's all there is to that, too! My friends, keep your dippers out of other's buckets. FILL their buckets - you'll discover yours is getting fuller, too. Full and overflowing - you'll have so much, much more to share. It really could be that way. It really CAN be that way. Love one another - ENRICH and lift and bless and fill -- one another!



 
Comments (2)
  • kimberlee

    love this story - any ideas what to use for a dipper (little buckets are easy to find) but the dipper, I am lost on! anyone know of something that will work?

  • Guest

    This story came from Don Clifton, and is published in the best-selling book, How Full is Your Bucket.

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