THE “WHAT WHY & HOW” OF CLEANLINESS

From The Family Virtues Guide

WHAT IS CLEANLINESS?

Cleanliness means washing often, keeping your body clean, and wearing clean clothes. When you practice cleanliness you feel (and smell!) fresh. Cleanliness means keeping your room neat and clean. It means doing your share to help your family keep your home in order.

Cleanliness can be in your mind as well as your body. A clean mind means that you keep your thoughts on things that are good for you. You can “clean up your act” by deciding to change when you have done something you aren’t proud of or when you have made a mistake. It is “wiping the slate clean” and starting over when you want to improve yourself. “Staying clean” also means keeping your body free of harmful drugs.

WHY PRACTICE CLEANLINESS?

Keeping yourself clean not only makes you feel good. It makes you nice to be around. When you brush your teeth you have a better chance of having healthy teeth. Maybe you won’t have any cavities!

Cleanliness protects you from disease. Washing your hands after you go to the bathroom and before you eat keeps away germs that cause disease. Wearing clean clothes helps you look your best. When your home is clean, your mind feels clean and uncluttered too. You can find things more easily.

A mind filled with pure and positive thoughts keeps you feeling peaceful. Being willing to clean things up in your behavior, to fix your mistakes, gives you happiness inside. Other people find that they can trust you.

Without cleanliness people get diseases, spread them to others, and smell unpleasant. When your home is messy, you cannot find anything and you feel ill at ease. When your mind gets caught in unpleasant and troubling thoughts, you get confused. People who use harmful drugs mess up their brains and lose the ability to think clearly.

When you keep yourself and your surroundings clean, it keeps your spirit strong and peaceful.

HOW DO YOU PRACTICE CLEANLINESS?

At a simple level, cleanliness is washing daily and brushing your teeth. It is putting things away after you are finished using them and helping to keep your home in order.

At another level, it is straightening yourself out, bringing yourself back to your best. Cleanliness means to remove those things that result in “disease”—things that interfere with your well-being.

When you feel the need, clean up your act. Besides cleaning your body, clean up your language. Straighten up your room. Ask your parents to help you straighten up your life.

Notice when unpleasant or unwelcome thoughts are on your mind. Try to understand why they are there and then work to replace them with thoughts that are good for you.

Only put into your body things which will make you healthy, like nutritious foods and drinks. Avoid putting anything in your body which could harm you.

When you make a mistake, clean it up by deciding to change. Apologize if you need to and the start acting differently.

What would Cleanliness look like if…

  • You haven’t been able to find your shoes for three days because your room is so messy?
  • You notice that unwelcome thoughts are sticking in your mind?
  • It is time for bed and you’re so sleepy you don’t feel like brushing your teeth?
  • Your desk at school is cluttered with papers?
  • Someone offers you drugs?
  • You broke a promise to a friend?

Congratulations! You are practicing Cleanliness when you…

  • Keep your body fresh and clean
  • Put things away after you use them
  • Do your share to keep your home neat and clean
  • Put only healthful things in your body
  • Use clean language
  • Clean up your mistakes

Affirmation:

I keep myself fresh and clean. I put my things and my life in order. I am willing and able to clean up my mistakes.

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Special thanks to The Family Virtues Guide, by Linda Kavelin Popov with Dr. Dan Popov Ph.D., and John Kavelin, and The Virtues Project, a global grassroots initiative to inspire the practice of virtues in everyday life.

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