I spend a lot of time feeling helpless. I can't do those things. Because I don't have the money or the time or the right education or connections. Because I need to value my safety and my children's safety above the comfort of others sometimes.
But this weekend, I realized that even in the absence of these things, I can do the little things that truly make the world better. The things that change the entire course of the world for one person. Because after all, that's what the world is, it's the collection of all the one persons.
Here are a few "little things" that people have done for me recently. Things that I want to make sure I am doing for others. Things that matter. But that I sometimes forget in my quest to be better, do more, give more.
- My friend gave me an owl ring because I was having a bad day. It wasn't grand or expensive, but it made me smile and made the scope of my problems come back into focus. I want to be a ray of sunshine, even if that ray comes in the form of "Yeah, it sucks. Here's something happy."
- Maren crawled into my lap and proclaimed me "the bestest mommy in the history of evers." (You know, a couple of hours earlier, she had stood in the driveway and screamed that I was the worst mommy evers, but whatever, I take what I can get.) I try to tell people when they do amazing things, but sometimes I forget to tell them that what they do every day is pretty darn amazing.
- An 85 year old woman in church yesterday told me that my hair was pretty and that she liked the pink. It's just a little compliment, but it's the kind that matters, because it's the kind you don't expect. I want to compliment people on the things they assume I'll hate/never notice.
More often than not, in the face of the really big problems, I sigh and shrug my shoulders. What can I do? What could I possibly do? I can't answer that question with one big answer, but the small answer is whatever I can do. Because whatever it is: a warm fuzzy hat, a couple of dollars or an apple pie; I need to have faith that it will find the one person who truly needs that thing. The person who needs the smile or the warmth or the reminder of home.