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Small things versus big things

We have all heard much said about courage. The idea is that one is truly courageous if one has known fear.

It’s quite simple, really. If you are afraid of public speaking but you go ahead and do it, you have had to face your fear and find a way to live with it. Does that make you more courageous than someone who is at ease speaking before a crowd? Perhaps not, but you do get points every time you face a fear, in my opinion.

Sometimes, people do something and when you thank them, they say it is “nothing.” Or: “Think nothing of it.” That is probably because to them, it was a “nothing.” But to you, it was something.

When someone who works with technology every day straightens something out for a less tech-savvy person, it’s a big deal for the person who was struggling. To the person who clicked here and there a few times to straighten something out, it was, indeed, close to nothing.
In other words, it’s all about perspective. The small things we do for each other can mean so much to others but for us, these small favours and actions count for a lot.

The extra clothes and household items we are anxious to get rid of may be a fresh start for someone in need.
Running errands for someone who has mobility issues may make a world of difference and improve the quality of life for someone whose life is a bit restricted.

I often wonder why we are all so different from each other. Why are some anxious in crowds while others proudly declare they need to be with people and would go squirrelly if they had to spend too much time on their own? The down side of this diversity is that sometimes, we fail to understand each other.

Those who find it easy to sail forth in the world and circulate each day may find it hard to understand those who are held captive by their fears and suffer from agoraphobia, which can include the fear of leaving home.

It is hard for the chirpy, look-on-the-bright-side types to understand the effects of chronic depression.
Sometimes, we experience a disconnect from others just because we don’t laugh at the same things.

Isn’t it fun when you discover that someone has the same sense of humour as you? And isn’t it equally disconcerting when someone is stone-faced while you are laughing at what you feel is obviously funny?

At the heart of varying perspectives is what things mean to us.

We develop and nurture the skills, relationships, and goals which mean something to us. If we can lift ourselves out of being consumed by restrictions that may have lived inside us, where they have become entrenched over a lifetime, so much the better.

Do we live the same scenarios over and over, blaming the past as we tell others, “That’s just how life is” or do we look deeper to choose who we want to be and how we can improve the lives of those around us?

In the end, what does life mean if we change nothing in ourselves or in the world around us?
Begin by being generous. Be kind enough to allow others to do small things for you.

Accept that cup of coffee from a friend. Listen to kind words sent your way. Make room for small favours. And let these grow in meaning so that you see their real value.

Changing our perspective is no small thing.

Louise Sproule

Louise Sproule has been the publisher of The Review since 1992. A part-time job after high school at The Review got Sproule hooked on community newspapers and all that they represent. She loves to write, has covered every kind of event you can think of, loves to organize community events and loves her small town and taking photographs across the region. She dreams of writing a book one day so she can finally tell all of the town's secrets! She must be stopped! Keep subscribing to The Review . . . or else!

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