Sunday, November 15, 2020

Small and simple things

There are a number of things that are seemingly simple and yet, given enough time, lead to impressive and dramatic results, like an acorn eventually growing into a mighty oak. But often we neglect these small and simple things. The reasons vary. Sometimes we just forget positive actions that fly under our radar due to their simplicity:

  • contacting a friend or relative,
  • performing small acts of kindness,
  • spiritual nourishment through daily prayer and study,
  • etc. 

Other times, there are things we know we should do, but that are difficult to form into regular habits:

  • healthy sleeping, eating, and exercise routines,
  • putting important tasks first instead of procrastinating,
  • responding to setbacks and frustrations with patience,
  • etc.

And then there are solutions to difficult problems that are nonetheless neglected because they just seem too simple to work. For example:

  • Daily expressions of gratitude for the things we have leads to greater happiness more reliably than the acquisition of goods.
  • Patiently listening and validating the feelings of another is more helpful than telling them how to fix their problems.
  • Loving our enemies and treating them how we want to be treated leads to lasting positive change in them more often than retaliation and humiliation does.
  • etc.
Whatever the reason for not doing the small and simple things, we can increase our diligence by learning about the promised benefits or blessings that come from doing them or by looking to others who do them consistently as examples. But the simplest solution of all is to simply... do it! We can learn by our own experience that a seed is good by planting it and seeing what grows. When it does begin to grow, however, we need to continue with patience and keep doing the small and simple things that nourish it.

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