I passed my favorite, quaint bookshop tonight after their recent remodel. The owner was warm and welcomed me in with a, “We need to get you in here again!” To which I earnestly replied how much I’d love to do a writer’s workshop, or an author visit with anyone interested in showing up! I’m not well known, but she knows me … and wants me to come back to relate with her customers, fellow writers, and lovers of words. It is in moments like these that I realize, I am “making it small,” and I love it.
Author, educator, and orator Booker T. Washington was credited with having said that, “Success in life is founded upon attention to the small things rather than to the large things; to the every day things nearest to us rather than to the things that are remote and uncommon.” I too am an author, an educator, and orator. In fact, I’m prepping right now for a speaking engagement I have coming up, but unlike the infamous Washington, my words will most likely be remembered only in tiny increments, unmeasured moments, and close conversations. And I’m okay with this, because like Booker said, it is our attention not to the, “remote and uncommon,” but the day to day, and here and now that matters most.
I know I have things backwards. I know that the world tells me I’m supposed to want to, “make it big,” but making it big won’t necessarily make my words matter. People matter, not statistics. No matter how popular or un-viewed my blog may be … regardless of how many sales my first publication gets, or whether or not I’ll be published again … it is the person I become for others that is of real consequence. The mentality of Mother Theresa is ever-on-point, “Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.”
So it is no longer my goal to “make it big.” When an image is too big it becomes distorted; when a life is too big, it looses focus. And it is the pin-point moments that make life ever-so-worth the living of it. I hope you too find your living in the smallest, and thereby strongest way.