It took a tragedy to prise open my eyes.
To see how vulnerable and fragile I really am and how short life really is.
And there are tragedies all around us everyday, sadly.
Sometimes it takes a tragedy to remind us of what (or should that be, who) we need most and to always be grateful for that.
If you are still here, you are lucky. Circumstances don’t always makes us feel lucky, but we are.
Sometimes we can feel so small and insignificant in the world. So unimpactful.
We think that if we just find that thing that makes us ‘known’, that deems us important, that we will have made it. That we will finally matter.
And yet you have always mattered.
You have a choice everyday, to achieve something. That something is not necessarily to save the world in one wondrous act but instead to create small acts closer to home. For me it is to make small daily contributions to the lives of the people who are directly impacted by me and my behaviour.
My parents both trained as teachers (one still is) and yet I never wanted to be one, until a friend once said to me ‘yes, but in a way, you are, aren’t you?’.
She said, “You’re giving back by teaching people what you know, what you’ve learned”.
Your children, your parents, your colleagues, your friends…
The shop assistant who asks you if you’re having a good day, to which you decide to ask them what they’re up to (and truly mean it). Or the lady behind you in the shopping aisle who has three things, so you let her go in front (willingly).
That to me is the small act of giving back and what it means to make a small difference every day.
Life doesn’t always have to be about the grand gesture. If you’re waiting to win Lotto so that you can make a huge monetary donation to a worldly cause, you may be waiting a long time for that to happen.
Large acts are fleeting. Small, unthinking acts reverberate.
Remember that time you helped a friend in need. Lent a caring ear. You were just there, being you. Giving without thinking. Doing without incentive.
And by doing that, you were making a difference. Making someone’s day, saving somebody from themselves, or perhaps even unknowingly, saving someone’s life.
Do what you can, with what you have. With what you know.
We all have the ability to do small things with great love.
When it comes to giving. Don’t always think you have to give big.
If you can great, if you can’t give little and often.