If in traffic on my way to work someone cuts me off, I can honk making sure they see while I shake my fist and show my displeasure with a hand gesture. Or I can just let it go with a thought about the apparent emptiness in a person’s life who can so easily mistreat another. What did I send into the world? In refraining from not making a thoughtless person even more so at least I did not make matters worse for all he/she comes in contact with!
Riding the elevator up to my office I can choose to stand in the corner silently while the other passenger stands solemn and seemingly lost in thought. I can leave him/her to arrive at work with that apathetic guise to exhibit to co-workers. Or I can smile, say some innocuous like “good morning, sure is hot out isn’t it?”. Maybe they will smile or maybe they won’t, but will go into their day knowing a stranger at least noticed their existence.
During my lunch break I can take the time to call a friend who is having a difficult time and by showing I care lighten their load a little. Their day will be a little better and quite possibly so will anyone’s who comes in contact with them.
I know such thoughts may sound a little “namby pamby” at first, but everything I do (everything you do) sends a tiny wave into the world like pebbles dropped into a lake. Collectively a million pebbles dropped near the same time can create a tidal wave.
A smile, a kind word, a thoughtful expression, a caring act are each one nothing earth-shattering, but such things do matter. Am I being hokey, simplistic and naive? Possibly and if so that’s just fine. The world could use a little more of that and a bit less grit and reality! In small ways separately and collectively we ALL affect the world around us every day.
What is considerably more meaningful is that I witness everything I do or say. How do my actions make me feel? When I do the right thing, when I exercise restraint, thoughtfulness or consideration I feel good. When the lessons learned well from past mistakes show themselves positively I am proud of myself. Those little positive bits and pieces are gifts I give myself specifically and to the world generally.
I am grateful for starting my morning with the thought that more than any other factor how I act today will determine how I feel at the end of it. There’s a real opportunity to make a positive contribution to the world, although admittedly small, but meaningful just the same. Little things we all do, good or bad, accumulate to total something significant much like grains of sand can create a beach.
“All ye Poets of the Age!
All ye Witlings of the Stage!
Learn your Jingles to reform!
Crop your Numbers and Conform:
Let your little Verses flow
Gently, Sweetly, Row by Row:
Let the Verse the Subject fit;
Little Subject, Little Wit.
From “Namby Pamby” by Henry Carey