Small is beautiful

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   We can do small things with great love.   Mother Theresa

We can do small things with great love.

Mother Theresa

It can be all too easy to be seduced into believing a successful life is one full of big achievements: that the more you’ve produced, the more accolades you receive, the more visible you are in the world, the better.
 
We can lose sight of what is really our most precious role in life: to love. And love doesn’t necessarily need to be offered out in big and dramatic doses for it to have an impact.
 
I experienced the most moving reminder of this when I was at London Bridge recently, for the first time since the attacks. I was on my way to teach, but a concrete wall right by the bridge stopped me in my tracks. It was covered with hundreds of messages, written on post-it notes. Love and compassion, offered by people from all over the globe, poured out of them. My heart felt like it was about to burst, and tears came. Gathered together, each one of these individual drops of support formed a beautiful and powerful wave. A wave that of course can never rectify the tragedy that happened, but one that can tend to such vast destruction with vast kindness.
 
What I witnessed showed me the profound impact a small gesture can have, especially when we’re all doing our best to offer out drops of goodness to those around us, and touch one another's hearts. It might simply be smiling at a stranger walking down the street, or giving up our tube seat to someone who clearly needs it more than we do. Actions that seem small, and are easy to do, but can have a potent effect, especially when they’re being received from a multitude of sources. That’s how we build the wave, and ultimately the ocean. Imagine how different the world would feel if our deepest intention was simply to bathe one another in love.
 
Many of us grew up in environments where studying hard, doing well at school, creating successful careers were emphasised. Which is all good and well. Except these can all too easily become the benchmarks by which we measure the worthiness of our lives. And then we forget our most essential reason for being on this earth. As Jack Kornfield, the Buddhist teacher wrote, “In the end these things matter most: How well did you love? How fully did you live? How deeply did you let go?” Funnily enough, he makes no mention of how many thousand Instagram followers you accrued in your lifetime...