“For want of a nail the shoe was lost,
For the want of a shoe the horse was lost,
For the want of a horse the rider was lost,
For the want of a rider the battle was lost,
For the want of a battle the kingdom was lost
And all for the want of a horseshoe-nail.”
This quote, from Benjamin Franklin’s poem has a message meant for people of all ages. Pay large attention to the little things. Years ago, all people on a jet were killed because the rudder system in the aircraft lost a little bolt less than one inch long. A dot or a single hyphen left out of an e mail address will prevent a message from being sent.
Little things have not only been responsible for huge losses, but also have triggered great discoveries. A spider web over a garden path led to the suspension bridge. A tea kettle singing on the stove was the inspiration for the steam engine. A falling apple suggested the law of gravity. A lantern swinging in a tower was responsible for the pendulum. On both sides of the ledger, great consequences have come from little things.
In our personal lives too, little things play a far greater role than we usually realize. Little things give us pain, and little things give us pleasure. A cruel word can cast a dreary cloud over the brightest of days. A word of appreciation can send our spirits soaring. A small act of kindness can often make a big difference in the delicate machinery of the human spirit.
Few of us are ever asked to do great things, but we are always given the opportunity to do little things in a great way. Some of the most heroic people I have known have been anonymous little people who inspired me by the spectacular way they performed ordinary, unspectacular deeds.
Recently I learned about a Texas-based non-profit whose very name intrigued me: The Importance of the Little Things, Inc. This organization provides grants of up to $100 to professional caregivers to purchase NON-MEDICAL GIFTS for financially-strapped patients who are battling a life-threatening condition or are under hospice care. As someone who works with hospice patients, I know firsthand that the simplest of gifts can dramatically improve a patient’s care, mood and outlook on life. A gift could be a bus ticket, a baby monitor, a simple hearing device, a therapeutic massage, or ever a window fan.
I invite you to take a look at this amazing organization, whose founder Steven H. Frantz joined me at my Passover Seder this year. He is a man with a caring heart who knows the importance of the little things. According to Jewish practice, this Passover season is the time for opening our doors to the hungry and opening our hearts to those who are enslaved. I invite you to contribute to an organization that will help professional caregivers improve the lives of those battling a life-threatening condition by clicking on www.theimportanceoflittlethings.org
In an age addicted of bigness it is important to pay large attention to the little things. They so often contain the seeds of greatness and have the power of transforming lives. No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. (Aesop)