I deal in hope : Carolyn R Scheidies

Blog It’s the Little Things

Too many believe that if they don’t do world-shaking things, their life has no meaning. They seek confirmation from celebrities, political leaders, authors selling millions of books, and popular sports figures. Some even look at criminals that make a big media splash with their evil deeds. Some crave attention even if that attention may be negative, much like a toddler who requires the love and attention from parents and the adults around them. Often these attitudes continue into adulthood.

Many do not realize such attention they seek is not lasting. It evaporates like using yesterday’s newspaper for kindling. Those in the news today may be totally discredited tomorrow. Few are remembered after death or even before. What use then is gearing life to that big splash?

Think of those persons or circumstances that left the largest impression. It isn’t usually the distant celebrity. What matters is the phone call when you’re feeling depressed. It is the neighbor that clears your sidewalk without you asking. It is the stranger who sees you juggling too many groceries and reaches out to help, or a young child, that quietly picks up what you dropped or maybe brings you a cart. It is the hair cutter that comes to the home when a person, often elderly, is unable to go to the salon.

What truly makes a difference, isn’t the big splashes. It is the small things we do for one another that can change a person’s day or even their outlook on life. How much better to put time and energy into helping, reaching out in small ways? Struggling to get attention through that important job, through media attention for something you consider life-changing, may not have the impact of small things you can do for someone. You cannot feed the world, but you can bring an elderly neighbor a bag of groceries. You may not write the great American novel, but you can write a letter to the editor letting others know of needs in their church, school, and community.

Instead of focusing on the big things, why not focus on small ways you can impact your family, your neighbors, and strangers right where you live? You may not get media attention, but you may get a sincere thank you that does so much more. You will know the satisfaction of truly making a difference.

(c) 2023 Carolyn R Scheidies
Column published Kearney Hub 5/9/2023

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