You know the story of the widow’s mite? Basically it’s a game of percentages; if Mitt Romney gives a million dollars and my daughter gives fifty to the same charity, who’s the more giving? It entirely depends on how much the gift itself meant to the giver. Sure, there can be the argument about which will do the more good…but we’re not talking about the results, we’re talking about the motivations.
The thing is, the same thing applies to lives. Everybody has their little treasures, their little rituals, their little objets d’art that mean the world to them. If I lost my zippo lighter, I’d be very upset; it is engraved with my name, and was a gift from a very dear person who is no longer with me. It’s not expensive, it’s not even in that good shape.
Talismans of Power and Worth
But beyond the fact that it has sentimental value, it has another value. It is a talisman of self-worth – someone, at some point, thought that I was worth it. They thought of me, and thought I would be able to use this little lighter. There have been times when the coffers have been running dry, when the clients have been running thin, when it has felt like the whole world was a turmoil of emotional drama…and just holding that little lighter reminded me that it was ok. Every time I light a cigar with it, lean back, relax, enjoy the smoke…I am building another layer on the personal significance of that lighter.
So now, as I’m about to take off for London and a month in Europe (never fear, the blog shall continue!) I urge you to take a look at the little things you have, the little rituals, whether it’s two sugars in your tea or an entire family dinner on a holiday, that may have significance in your life without you necessarily realizing it.
Times might not always be this good; the cornucopia of life may not always be this full. If that happens, these little things may be the things that help keep your life and your sanity together.
When the little things are the only things, they aren’t little things any more.