The Beauty of Small
“Nothing is either good or bad but thinking makes it so.” –William Shakespeare
Deflate Gate. The presidential pardon of a turkey on Thanksgiving. The groundhog predicting the length of winter.
Much of the reaction I came across in social media towards these topics can be summed up in one word - seriously?
Amidst the eye rolling and other expressions of disdain was also the question, how can these things be more important or more newsworthy than homelessness and joblessness in our neighborhood, and the war, famine and a host of other crimes against humanity?
Yes. They can be.
And no - far more important things should occupy our minds.
My answer’s not meant to be cryptic. Believe me, I used to rail against these types of “news” and bemoaned the death of serious journalism. Journalism, one of my past professions, is a beloved topic of debate. However, to keep me on topic here, we shall not venture into the merits of journalism or lack thereof, lest you wish to read the longest blog post in history.
Over the years, I have come to change my position regarding what I deemed as newsworthy. In the same sense that making small talks with strangers may not be considered world changing, frivolity has its place. What is discussed openly and in public has a use and a purpose. What doesn’t lurk in the dark contributes to understanding.
Here’s what I learn about the beauty of small.
The Beauty of Small is Connection.
During a particularly dark period, I was grasping at any bright light to get me through the entire FUBAR mess that was my life. One particular stranger showed me a great kindness. A barista at my neighborhood coffee shop. She was genuine and always ready with a warm smile. While she efficiently set about making my coffee, we chatted about the “small things” – the weather, a favorite recipe, a good bottle of wine that she and her husband shared over dinner. It wasn’t so much the things we talked about; it was the feeling they created. Small talk is a non-threatening bridge where strangers cross over to friends.
The Beauty of Small is a Place to Retreat and Regroup.
I recently chatted up a stranger at my gym where he told me a funny story about his first experience skydiving and going inside a shark tank. I walked away from that conversation feeling lifted from my problems.
Sometimes, you need to put aside the big things that are scary and hard to deal with so that when you go back to them, you face them in a healthier way.
The big things – man, aren’t they exhausting? There is a time to put them aside. There is a place for rest. Give yourself permission to do so.
Everyone has the courage to fight the hard battle and for the things worth fighting for.
But maybe not now, not today. And that’s where small comes in.
Lastly, it’s worth noting that when we are moved to judge the quality of things, we need to question if it is our ego talking. What has been true for me is that anytime I felt a need to label something as either good or bad, it was likely my ego. It has over identified itself with something. It is needing to feel superior to someone.
Does this ring true for you?
If you enjoyed this post, you may enjoy “How to Keep the Small Stuff from Driving You Crazy” by clicking here.