Wednesday, December 3, 2008

On greatness


"People say, 'What good can one person do? What is the sense of our small effort?'
They cannot see that we must lay one brick at a time. We can be responsible only for the one action of the present moment. But we can beg for an increase of love in our hearts that will vitalize and transform all our individual actions, and know that God will take them and multiply them, as Jesus multiplied the loaves and the fishes...."
--Dorothy Day

I grew up inspired by my parents to do great things. I disappointed myself for awhile by not accomplishing anything very monumental. The moment I realized that participating in the movement that is inching our planet in a positive direction is quite enough, I grew as a person.

I will not do great things, be remembered by history, accomplish monumental feats. Nevertheless, I try to do small things that are the right things to do...and that will be sufficient.

16 comments:

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

Thank you for this. For some reason, this time of year I start hearing this insistent drumbeat: "I don't do enough. I don't do enough." That's probably true, but the feeling of discouragement it produces tends to trap me into defeatism. I needed this reminder that little actions can add up to a lot.

FranIAm said...

I almost shut off the pc to run out the door but decided to check one more blog... and thank God it was yours.

Thank you!

Jan said...

I have that echo about not doing enough. This is a good reminder. At least you move back and forth trying!

I have this quote that I like, but sometimes wander into cynicism and say it's too idealistic--but one person at a time, one step at a time.

"Let the good in me connect with the good in others, until all the world is transformed through the compelling power of love."
--Rebbe Nachman of Breslov in "The Gentle Weapon"

Randal Graves said...

I like to think of what you're doing to be a big middle finger to the status quo. Vulgar and not at all poetic? Probably, but you're fighting the good fight.

Carol said...

Thank you!

I can think of myself as not contributing anything to the world sometimes. But after I get over myself, I realize that we touch lives and change attitudes just by living with kindness and integrity - and so many times, we don't even know how we've left our mark.

Through my connection with you, I am made a better person. You have educated me and challenged me to hold myself accountable for injustices going on around me. I think that you do great things.

thailandchani said...

Carol already said what I would have said.. but I wanted to leave a comment anyway.

Um. :)



~*

an average patriot said...

Just the picture of a wall of bricks is very poignant and I can not get anyone top understand you build a wall one brick at a time! You have to lay the first brick and let it be me!

enigma4ever said...

you will always be remembered by those around you that you have touched with your kindness, your wisdom, and your insights.....You have no idea of how you inspire, but also that you make people think with their hearts.....that is a Gift...


( btw I FINALLY finished the Album Project- so sorry- took me forever to locate THE Albums and narrow it down in my mind....it took many days- it was a good project....soul searching...thank you ...it 's posted....)

Namaste...

Sherry said...

I have learned never to under estimate the power of the blog. You touch more people than you can imagine, and it is always for good. I too have come to realize that every little bit helps. And you have certainly laid more than a few bricks in the wall BE. It is easy to get discouraged, but that is self-defeating, ending in doing nothing at all. Doing something, no matter how small is always preferable.

Border Explorer said...

The comments on this blog are one of the best parts. Today is no exception. Lots of wisdom shared here.

Ruth: How true...I'm hearing that Xmas drumbeat. Let's resist it.

Fran: Hope the funeral went as well as possible. Bless you.

Jan: You're the queen of quotes! That one is a keeper.

Randal: Very empathic. You're reading my mind.

Carol: Same to you, my new friend.

Chani: Love it! :-p

James: You're so right. I'll let the brick walls around be my reminder.

Enigma: "In the end only kindness matters" Thanks for doing the album meme. I'll be right over.

Sherry: And at the very least we can support one another in the quest by sharing our vision.

Thanks everyone for your comments!

Dianne said...

that is more than sufficient

Mauigirl said...

Great point, I'm glad you posted this. I do get discouraged when I find it hard to make the difference I'd like to make but it's good to remember that the journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step - or brick.

Fran said...

Good brick for thought....

Liberality said...

a butterfly flaps its wings...

Geri said...

Everyone at one point or another wishes they could leave so great legacy or do some great thing that turns them into somebody like Oprah. However, sometimes the greatest things you can do are the small things you do for your family or friends. When you touch someone's life in that way, they're able to touch other people's life and so on and so on. So, even if you think you may have not done something great, it might actually affect more people than if you were Oprah.

Ingrid said...

that is a very elegant statement BE. I have been feeling unforfilled, bored and wanting to do something that means something. (yes yes, having a family is important too but I'm looking at the world outside my little one)..
your statement is food for thought, thankyou I needed it..
hugs

Ingrid