By Linda Moore
Published: May 2007
As more and more people run around at a frantic pace filling their days with a myriad number of tasks and activities and often little joy and contentment, it causes me to ponder. Collectively, we have become obsessed with bigger is better. We think bold trumps gentle and busy beats meaningful. What if we shifted our focus? What if we took on a new mantra, "Think Small: Nothing Is Insignificant."
The other evening I was having dinner with a friend in a restaurant. I glanced over to another table and saw a young man assist what was perhaps his grandmother to put on her coat with patience and care. Recently a friend surprised me with a lunch at my home office. She had thoughtfully prepared each course and had even brought beautiful serving dishes and flowers to create an ambience and visual appeal while we shared some precious time together. Another friend called to simply say he loved me and was happy I was in his life. Small acts. Significant acts.
The ability to think small and pay attention to what truly matters lies within us. We simply need to call it forth.
Simple actions, in service to others, create a world of deep meaning. Last week I was standing in line at the grocery store and I dropped one of my gloves. A young girl of eight or nine came running up to me to return the glove. At first I simply said thank you and then gave myself a shake and paid attention. I took the time to look her in the eye and truly thank her. Both she and her mother simply beamed. In such a moment, that acknowledgement changed something for everyone involved and the ripple effect will never be known.
Years ago my mother taught me a very important lesson. Whenever she was being served in a restaurant, store, dry cleaners, literally anywhere, she always ask the name of the person who was serving her. Sometimes the individuals were uncomfortable; sometimes they got defensive and asked why she wanted to know their name. Her answer was always the same," I want to acknowledge you because I am grateful for the work you are about to do in service to me." As a child her actions embarrassed me. As I grew older, it struck a chord that resonated deeply in my heart. I recalled how the person's face softened and their desire to serve her well, expanded. Today I practice this acknowledgement. Today I get the same response.
Recently I was in the home of friends and one of them performed some wonderful music for me as an interlude between dinner courses. As I sat listening I held the hand of his partner in love and companionship. The music was uplifting and it was a precious moment of sharing and beauty. A simple event; a simple gesture; a deeply significant moment.
I have always been drawn to Japanese presentation. Whether it is a flower arrangement, a room layout or a meal design everything to the minutest detail is thoughtfully considered. It is a metaphor for living.
Sharing ourselves with others and acknowledging those around us is deeply significant. Paying attention to the smallest of events and details in our lives brings a richness of spirit that is devastatingly profound. It can rock us to the core in its beauty and magic. All we need to do is still ourselves in the moment and notice where we are and whom we are with.
Spring is here and the whole earth is coming alive. Look up and down and around to discover the buds on the lilac tree, the crocus breaking through the soil, the first melody of a songbird newly returned from its winter stay in the south. Glance up and into the faces of those you pass on the sidewalk and with a smile on your face wish them a good day whether you know them or not. Greet people in the elevator with a simple hello....
Your donation will help us thrust the Niagara Anglican into the future - communicating the Gospel and the good news of our Anglican tradition to generations to come.