Mr. Jackson was a traditional fellow, practicing things his mother taught, like the Golden Rule and respect the elderly. He also went to schools that studied master poets and writers. He loved old poets, Tennyson, Wordsworth, and Emerson.

Mom gave him plenty of reason to practice Emerson’s advice about “always leave a place better than when you found it.”

Problem was that he was not very aware of today’s world. Therefore, when Buck asked if his class could use his building for their party, Mr. Jackson said, “Yes, but leave the place better than when you found it.”

Buck promised.


Written for Rochelle’s 100-word Friday Fictioneer’s Challenge. https://rochellewisoff.com/

http://PHOTO PROMPT © Carole Erdman-Grant

The concept of leaving the world a better place can be traced back to a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson: “To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived — that is to have succeeded. https://medium.com/builddie/leaving-the-world-a-better-place-than-how-we-found-it-7b375b8475e9

About oneta hayes

ABOUT ME Hello. To various folks I am Neat’nee, Mom, Grandma Neta, Gramma, Aunt Neta, Aunt Noni, Aunt Neno, and Aunt Neto (lots of varieties from little nieces and nephews). To some I’m more like “Didn’t you used to be my teacher?” or “Don’t I know you from someplace?” To you, perhaps, I am a Fellow Blogger. Not “fellow” like a male or a guy, but “fellow” like a companion or an adventurer. I would choose to be Grandma Blogger, and have you pull up a chair, my website before you, while I tell you of some days of yore. I have experienced life much differently than most of you. It was and is a good life. I hope to share nuggets of appreciation for those who have gone before me and those who come after me. By necessity you are among those who come after me and I will tell you of those who came before. Once upon a time in a little house on a prairie - oops, change that lest I commit plagiarism - and change that “house on the prairie” to “dugout on the prairie.” So my story begins...
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  1. capost2k says:

    This mantra was pounded into my three siblings and me weekly or more by our dear Mother! A good lesson every parent and grandparent should teach their young’ens. 😉

  2. neilmacdon says:

    That’s going to be a tough ask

  3. Iain Kelly says:

    Ha, enjoyed this one! I suppose ‘better’ is a subjective term! Well done 🙂

  4. elmowrites says:

    Better is in the eye of the beholder. I haven’t seen a photo of this building before the grafitti took over, but I suspect it could be considered better this way. At least it’s colourful!

    • oneta hayes says:

      I just used that quote “beauty is…” in a comment to Neil. I’m guessing the young folks were not trying to make something beautiful. I’d go more for a prank. Mr. Jackson was a simple traditional person. I doubt that anyone thought he would like it better this way. But either ending is alright with me. 😀

  5. Bill says:

    Nicely done. A photo prompt painted with an Emerson quote.

  6. Gosh that quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson so so beautiful. Thank you for writing this piece and including that here

  7. Margaret says:

    Oh, poor Mr Jackson – he’ll be a target for Buck and his friends. I hope some of his goodness and trust rubs off on his students in time.

  8. Let’s just substitute different for better! Well done.

  9. Nobbinmaug says:

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I guess the same could be said of better.

  10. msjadeli says:

    I guess it all depends on one’s definition of better. Personally I think it looks better than the abandoned hull it was.

    • oneta hayes says:

      I’m guessing you are less traditional than Mr. Jackson. Or me, either. I do not like graffiti. I believe it is left to be destructive far more often than to make things look pleasurable. I do, however, like wall murals, especially, those that are clever. Thanks for your vote. I have heard from others who also like the graffiti look.

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