“Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely. It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good. What is needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts — adding, adding to, adding more, continuing. We know that it does not take “everyone on Earth” to bring justice and peace, but only a small, determined group who will not give up during the first, second, or hundredth gale. “ —Clarissa Pinkola Estes
These words from Clarissa Pinkola Estes speak to something very important: a common belief that doing something “small” – something in the moment, do-able and simple – is sufficient to touch the world and make a difference. Yet how many of us belief differently. Have you ever thought that you aren’t doing “enough” to contribute to peace? That only Gandhi, Jesus, Mother Joseph and others of fame and notoriety did ‘more’ and were better people than you are? I have…often. So I started thinking….
What if all of us did what we could, where we are, and with the time we have? What if we worked “within our reach” and did so with compassion and peace. What if we were “enough” in our contribution – no matter how small that contribution may seem?
And what if, quietly and with great faith, we joined the small, determined group who do not give up…ever? I can only imagine what beauty and justice would bless our world. Yet we must take action in order to change our mindset of insufficiency – doing what we can and allowing that very action to be enough.
So I asked myself to think of some examples of everyday kindness that would bless our world in some way – examples that are within our reach as everyday folks. See what you think:
- Speak kindly to the people you encounter
- Show your gratitude
- Choose calm on the roadways
- Send someone a hand-written note of thanks
- Compliment a waiter or waitress (to their manager)
If your desire is to do something on a larger scale, what about volunteering for an organization?
- Soup kitchen
- Nursing home
- At-risk youth program
- Read to children
- Support your local family sporting event
Do you have different ideas or others to add? I welcome your thoughts and offerings. My vision is to combine all suggestions for kindness, post our ideas, and ‘be’ the small group (or at least one small group) who is determined and who refuses to give up. Please contribute! Our world needs each one of us.