It is easy, sometimes, to feel small and insignificant. We might compare ourselves to others, wondering Why don’t I have what they have? How come they are more successful than me? We may feel small because we have failed to achieve what we hoped, or feel unnoticed or under-appreciated.
Making A Difference In The World
And yet, some of the smallest stuff on Earth, some of the stuff most of us never think about, or may not even know about, are responsible for some very major things. Take worms, for instance. These little wigglers are actually pretty amazing on a pretty big level. (I am sorry for anyone not interested in these kind of facts – and sorry for anyone, like my older sister, who is utterly grossed-out by worms, but this stuff amazes me! They can regrow tails! They have no eyes but can sense light!).
Returning to the point at hand, these tiny creatures are responsible for producing our fertile soil, aerating it with their bodies and adding nitrogen to it with their slime, so that we can do things like grow the food we need to live. And it’s not just worms. Diatoms, for example, microscopic, one-celled marine organisms, are responsible for producing around 25% of the oxygen we breathe. Talk about making a difference in the world, doing a big job, a teeny little bit at a time!
Small Things Can Have the Biggest Impact
We may not be responsible for producing a quarter of the world’s clean air with our bodies, or secreting nitrogen to grow quality food, but what are we responsible for? How do we contribute to our atmosphere, our environment? How are we making a difference in the world? What do each of our actions and choices add up to?
Even the smallest things we do look large when multiplied by hours in the day, people in the world. Our grand gestures and deeds are wonderful – but do they happen countless times a day, all day long, year after year? It is the little moments that make up our lifetimes, that make our world what it is. It is also the little moments that truly echo or propel the big ones. Raising a voice in support. Smiling and reaching out a hand when others are not. Choosing to control anger, or accept responsibility.
These are the tiny examples we set, the minute building blocks of our society. How easy to say It’s too big. It’s too hard. What can one person do? But one person can do a lot, with simple, everyday actions and decisions. When we choose to live a life we are proud of, when we allow ourselves to become aware that even our smallest actions can have big consequences, we add another positive note to the symphony of life around us.
Making A Difference In The World: Both Positive and Negative
It works both ways. We may not think that the little, negative things we think and do mean a whole lot in the big world around us, but they do. They are what the world is made out of, our small gestures, choices, actions. When we choose positivity, when we choose humor, when we choose kindness, compassion, patience and love, we add these things to the world around us.
These little things, this small stuff, adds up to a much greater whole. So when we are feeling small, feeling unappreciated or insignificant, we can remember that it is the little things – the worms, the algae, or the simplest of gestures – that sometimes make the biggest impact. All of us contribute to the world around us, in ways greater and more varied than we realize. Let’s make our contributions good ones. Let’s not only work to make our food better, our air sweeter, but to make our world a better place to be, one small step at a time.