I have been thinking this week about small things. Little things. Salt. Yeast. A thank you. A hug.
You see, I truly believe that greatness is not made of one huge endeavor or success. Greatness comes from many, many acts of small and seemingly insignificant efforts. Like adding salt to your meal. Like adding yeast to your bread. You don’t need very much, but when added it begins to expand on itself. It creates.
You see, it is the small things accumulated that create love, peace, change, and overall greatness.
Many, many people can do one big thing. But those consistent small things, those are the things that are truly symbolic of who we are. Those are the stories that make up our lives.
I read a story this week that I would like to share here:
Dr. William L. Stidger sat down and wrote a letter of thanks to a schoolteacher for having given him so much encouragement when he had been in her class thirty years before. The following week he received an answer, written in a very shaky hand. The letter read:
“My dear Willie: I want you to know what your note meant to me. I am an old lady in my eighties, living alone in a small room, cooking my own meals, lonely, and seeming like the last leaf on the tree. You will be interested to know, Willie, that I taught school for fifty years and in all that time, yours is the first letter of appreciation I have ever received. It came on a cold, blue morning and cheered my lonely old heart as nothing has cheered me in many years.”
Taken from Everyday Greatness, page 176.
I have had several small things make a difference in my life. They are seemingly insignificant probably to those who have done them, but very meaningful to me. They have come in different forms, at different times, and were all very, very small acts:
the friend who dropped off doughnuts unexpectedly at my house and stayed for a chat,
another who sent me an encouraging text message,
a mother who sends handwritten letters to my daughters,
a father who calls to chat with the girls,
a brother who calls on Sunday just to check in,
or a nephew who stops by on my birthday to see me.
It may be a hug at the end of a tough day,
or the sweet little arms around my neck and the small voice that says, “I love you mommy”
even when I had gotten angry earlier that day.
It may be the small feeling of peace I get when I pray,
or the kind comment I got on Facebook.
You see, small things get me through the day. Small things add up.
Small things create greatness.
So, today, I am calling you all to action. Do something small for someone else. Be the small in someone’s greatness today. You will find that it brings out the greatness in you. We can all do it. We can create greatness together.
Leave me a note about the small things that have helped you. Happy Sunday!