One week ago, we were all reminded of how fragile life is and how quickly and unexpectedly it can come to an end. We can do everything in our power to protect ourselves and our loved ones from pain and suffering, but ultimately, none of us have the power to prevent harm in a world that at times can feel completely beyond our control. How do we come to terms with our inability to bring about all of the changes in our world that true peace and security requires? And what, if anything can we do that will truly make a genuine difference in that world?
Gandhi’s answer to these perplexing questions was at once simple and profound. In the grand scheme of things he saw that we are far more powerful collectively, than we realize from our perspective as isolated individuals. He saw how one person’s actions can touch others who in turn touch others, creating a “ripple effect” that has a far greater impact than we can ever imagine. Gandhi’s words were: “Whatever you do may seem insignificant to you, but it is most important that you do it.” They ring as true today as they did when he first uttered them many decades ago.
Consider for a moment what you can do or give at this time that might have a positive impact on others. It doesn’t have to be anything earth-shaking or grandiose. It can be a smile, a “thank you”, an expression of gratitude, a gesture to let another driver go ahead of you, rather than trying to get ahead of him. None of these things by themselves will stop all of the acts of violence and suffering in the world, but collectively they make a difference. The gifts that you give to one person, not just material gifts, but gifts of kindness, generosity and good-will, impact upon many others, including you, the giver. Mother Teresa knew this well. She reminded us that “We cannot do great things on this earth, only small things with great love.”
Consider how during this holiday season and throughout the coming year, you can give yourself and others gifts that may take just a moment to give, but can endure for a lifetime in memories of gratitude.
With much gratitude to you for being a part of our circle of friends.
Linda and Charlie