Wednesday, November 9, 2011

103) Learn Lessons - small is big

"They also serve who only stand and wait." John Milton

A water bearer carried two pots on a cane across his neck as he fetched water for his master's household. One pot was slightly cracked and leaked water; the other was without flaw. As he carried water each time, water leaked from the cracked pot. This happened day after day, until the cracked pot lamented: "I leak water. Your hard work is not rewarded. Can you not fix the leak?" The pot bearer patiently explained: "No matter how broken we are, we serve a purpose." "What purpose do I serve," the pot asked? The pot bearer questioned with understanding:"I wonder if you have noticed the bed of flowers on the route we take to the stream?" "Not really," the pot answered. "The water that leaks from you, waters that bed of flowers. Fresh flowers bloom which I collect for my master's table. So, you help the flowers and the flowers help us. You and your leak serve a purpose."
(I owe this story to my grandson, Augustus, who narrated it with gusto.)

This is where small is big - small acts have a big impact. Without our knowing, we are engaged in small acts of kindness which impact the lives of others, very often, in a big way. We treat them as trifles, but kindness is no trifling matter.Perhaps a warm welcome to someone who is sad, can cheer that person. Perhaps a little relief to someone who is overburdened, can bring a smile to replace a frown. A word of encouragement, can put a spring into the step of one who is lagging behind. Small acts add up like flowers that go to make a bouquet. John Milton's words at the top of this post offer the same thought - he was blind but hoped that his poetry would help readers in a small way; actually they helped people in a big way. When our children see us perform little acts of kindness and small deeds of mercy, they too will want to follow our example and reach out to children around them. Before long they will have a halo over their heads.

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