Recently, a relationship was dissolved because the individual was bothered by a “lot of little things”, which was further compounded by yet another little thing. A gamut of emotions ensued. Bewilderment. Anger. Followed by acceptance. And sadness. One of the great blessings in my life is the ability to get over things very quickly and move on. A dear friend once told me: ‘Juan, you compartmentalize things”. She might be onto something.
Let me explain the last emotion. I was not sad because the relationship ended. Looking back, I ignored a few warning signs. I was sad because I realized bigger issues were driving this individual’s attitude. Not a judgment. Merely an observation. Four years of studying psychology have given me a better idea of behavior patterns. Despite all the ills in the world, people chose to let strife and hard feelings rule their decisions, and interactions with others.
As a result of this rather unpleasant experience. The “little things” in life grabbed my train of thought. I cringed at the memory of the little things which once infuriated me. Held me captive. Ruled my decisions. It is much easier to think about a happier time. The time when a lot of my “earthly cares” fell away. Giving life and living more room to grow. Flourish. Bear fruit. I have not arrived. No sir. The beat goes on.
In the grand scheme of things. There are little things that should not count. Getting rained on. A late bus. Missing a game. A crying baby. Delayed flight. Parking ticket. Bad customer service. Add to this list. Sometimes the bigger picture gets lost. We are alive to feel the rain drops. The bus probably had mechanical problems. A late driver had a family emergency. A delayed flight might save hundreds of lives. Bad customer service could mean the person just lost a family member. A myriad of possibilities.
We might be powerless to do anything about the world’s most urgent concerns. Starvation. Genocide. Mass rape of women. Situation in the Middle East. Clean water for everyone. Many of us are very fortunate. However, sometimes the little things count. Expressing gratitude. An apology. Making amends. Treatment of a spouse or partner. Saying I love you. Extending a hand of fellowship. An act of service. Non verbal communication. A small decision with lasting consequences. All too often, we mistakenly believe people don’t notice the small things in friendships. Relationships. Acts of service. Fellowship. That’s the issue. We are mistaken. Inevitably, the small things we do might not be acknowledged. Preoccupation with life’s problems. The act went unnoticed. A careless thought. More often than not, in these instances, the little things do matter. To the person who receives it. Will the little things matter a year from now? Perhaps five? Ten? If we truly believe they will, then the memories will be welcoming. Not tinged with regret at something we could have done. Or said.
On a more personal note, there are little things I am working on. Ironically, one of them is not being bothered by people who let little things bother them! Over the past few years I have seen a change come over me. Small. Subtle. A softening if you will. I am the furthest away from being the person I truly want to be. Yet the progress is exciting. I am grateful for all the people in my life. The ones who care. Love. Appreciate. The ones happy for me. I love each of you. I am truly blessed.
“The loudest sound in the world is that of people whining. Don’t add to it” Adrian Salvage. This is my take, what’s yours?
Until the next post…..