Saturday, August 22, 2015

No Small Thing: How to Change the World for the Better…In Our Lifetime

How you help the world become a better, more caring place every day, even if you don't realize it…

I heard that walking is great exercise. So I began such a
program a couple of years ago. It turned out exercise wasn’t the only thing I got from walking. 

Each morning I take a different route. The first morning I noticed that, all along the sidewalk there were little bits and pieces of litter, litter that most people won’t notice because they’re usually in a hurry or paying attention to something else. So, the next morning, I took a pair of gloves and a small plastic shopping bag with me. I picked up a few pieces of the litter. When I retraced my steps on the way home, it appealed to me that now, the sidewalk didn’t have so much litter. It was only a small thing to do, but it made a difference. 

I took a different route the third day. I noticed that there were several people out early, painting over graffiti that had been sprayed onto some of the local buildings. I stopped to ask why they were doing that. They all agreed that in order to keep the community a clean place, doing this job was absolutely necessary. I asked if painting over would stop the graffiti. No, they answered. Only counseling and a community mind change will do that. We’re just doing our part. They were. It was a small thing to do, but it made a difference. 

A few days later, on a new route, I came upon an interesting little situation. There was a small, almost hidden crosswalk straddling a major street and a small, almost hidden woman in a wheelchair was waiting patiently to cross. I heard a young man ask her if she needed help. No, she said. I’ll cross when the light changes. But there’s no light here, said the young man. Really, queried the woman. That’s right, the young man replied. He helped her across the street by actually putting his hand up to stop the oncoming traffic…both directions. It was a small thing to do, but it made a difference.

Sometimes you might think you don’t make much of a difference. But every time you reach out your hand, your mind, and your heart to help the world, in any small way, you change it. A lot of small things make a large difference. So, allow yourself to be open to the small things. Look--actually seek--opportunities to help in ways you may not have considered before. Gently step out of your comfort zone. 

Together, all the small things you do will ultimately have a large affect on the community around you. You are making things better. Now that’s no small thing. 

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