The small stuff

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It’s not every day that you get to do something, to give of yourself in some way, that will truly make a significant difference in someone else’s life. Or, is it?

Yes, that’s right, I’ve resorted to mak­ing an opening statement that I will then purposefully refute, followed by a simple question with an obvious answer.

To my senior English teacher, Mr. Roach, I offer my sincere apologies for that opening. For all of you who aren’t Mr. Roach (that’s probably most of you), I will now attempt to get back to what we all lovingly refer to as “the point.”

The point, albeit somewhat belabored by myself, is that we are all blessed with innu­merable opportunities to help one another, and to make a meaningful and positive impact on the lives of those around us.

We tend to overlook these opportunities, and to underestimate their importance, because they come not in the large, earth-shattering packages that we envision when we picture ourselves saving the world, but rather in the small and seemingly tedious events of everyday life.

It is easy to miss the importance of the small countless acts, the acts that don’t re­ally seem to mean that much in the giving, but that ultimately make all the difference for those in need.

Regardless of what that ‘need’ is, be it physical, emotional, or spiritual, the need is probably not going to be filled by one per­son, by one sweeping act in one instant.

Filling that need, for others or for our­selves, isn’t something that’s accomplished in one simple, neat moment of grand beneficence. It takes all of the deceptively small acts of kindness and charity, all of our seemingly minute efforts, to add up to the big collective solutions.

We, as a culture, tend to shun the value of our small contributions, being taught from infancy to look for some sort of mutated su­per hero that will fly in and fix all problems, great and small, in a single bound.

Playing the role of the nameless, selfless cog in the gears of humanity is not a very popular notion in our society. And yet, it is only by playing that role, by persistently taking on the small acts that improve our small corner of the world, that we can hope to collectively move forward.

With that in mind, assuming you don’t have a billionaire’s bank account or some other sort of super power, you can take pride in the many small contributions that each of us make, and in the collective difference that we make when we all work together.

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