Doing Small Things with Great Love
Christmas is a time for giving and showing we care.
Especially this year, there is not only so much suffering in the human world due to the pandemic, but the whole planet is under strain through human-induced climate change. And we feel overwhelmed and helpless as we alone cannot overcome these challenges. So what can we do? The answer I found comes from Mother Teresa:
“We can’t all do great things, but we can do small things with great love.”
If we all do small things and do them with our full heart and full attention, we can start a movement that together will accomplish big changes.
If we see each other as brothers and sisters, not only all humans, but all living beings, we will treat each other with respect and love.
If we remember that the earth is our mother, who gives us life in the form of air, water, food, and so much more, we will treat her with more appreciation and care.
How can we do this? We start small.
Doing three things with love
1- We get up and wish ourselves a good morning and show ourselves some care and love, maybe by telling ourselves “I love you” and letting this really sink in.
We greet our family and friends with the same loving good morning we gave to ourselves.
2- We brew some coffee and thank the earth for the life-giving water and letting coffee grow, we thank the tree for giving its coffee to us. We thank the coffee-grower and the coffee picker, coffee roaster, coffee grinder for their work, and all the people involved in getting the coffee to us. The truck driver who drove it to and from the port, the ship crew who delivered it to our country, the supermarket staff where we got it.
We can do the same with the shower we take, including the people who invented running water, plumbers who laid the pipes and tubes, the people and resources involved in the shampoo, shower gel, toothpaste, etc. we use.
We can continue with thanks for whatever we have to eat, with the clothes we wear, the car we use, the house we live in.
3- As we realise all the work and care that went into the things we use, we can come to realise how intricately things are intertwined. Isn’t it incredible how everything we partake of comes from mother earth? How thousands of people are involved in us enjoying a cup of coffee? Not only all our ancestors that mean we can be alive, but also the first person realising that coffee can be made into a drink, all the persons refining the recipe, experimenting and learning how coffee grows, the geniuses that built ships to cross the oceans in and bring the coffee too us, the many people building the ships, and so much more…
Showing care with small acts
If our life is this interconnected, what does this mean for us? If every little thing that we consume comes from mother earth as a gift, how would we treat her if she was a person standing in front of us? Especially if we saw how she is struggling to keep providing for us as we are dumping all her gifts as waste on her.
If we think about how the coffee growers as one of the reasons we get to enjoy our mornings and if they were our neighbours and we saw them toil and sweat to tend to our coffee every day, how would we treat what they provide us with? Wouldn’t we care for the coffee in a different way?
Maybe we would buy the coffee that allows them a decent living, maybe we would be more careful with how we use the coffee itself as we see how long it takes the earth to grow it?
If we saw the truck driver spend Christmas away from his or her family to provide them with a livelihood, wouldn’t our heart reach out to their struggle? Wouldn’t we be more grateful to them for their sacrifices? Maybe we would wave to them on the highway, or let them get into our line in traffic.
If we were more conscious of how things are interlinked, maybe we would show a little more love…