Tuesday, June 2, 2015

One Drop of Water

"Gurgling Fountain"
- in my meditation garden -

In response to all the graduation season hoopla about going out and changing the world with big dreams and noble plans, David Brooks wrote a fascinating op-ed column in the New York Times a few days ago. In his article, A Small Happy Life, Mr. Brooks reported on an informal survey he recently took in which he asked his readers to describe how they have found purpose and meaning in their lives.  Most people said they found their greatest joys and deepest purpose by pursuing: “a small happy life.” 

Many said that after they finished school and went out into the world of routine living, they discovered that it was the everyday “small stuff” in life that really made the big differences:

Everywhere there are tiny, seemingly inconsequential circumstances,
that, if explored, provide meaning – everyday chances to be generous and kind.
Spiritual and emotional growth happens in microscopic increments.

The big decisions we make turn out to have much less impact on life as a whole
than the myriad of small seemingly insignificant ones.

I found great wisdom in these simple observations.

My guess is that many people may think that unless they sit on the bench of a court, occupy a seat in the senate, have the corner office of the CEO or wear the fine robes of priests and bishops, their lives will probably not make much of a difference. But as I see it, a mom who packs her child’s lunch and sends him off to school with a smile and a hug may well be changing the world in a far more significant way than the minister or priest who gave that sermon standing high in a pulpit or that congressman who voted for a piece of legislation.  

Everyday is filled with chances to be generous and kind- these are the acts that bring meaning to our lives and these are the acts that change the world.

I am reminded of something Kahlil Gibran once wrote:

In one drop of water are found all the secrets of all the oceans.

Out here n the desert we are now in the hottest season of the year, and now more than ever (especially in this time of drought), I appreciate the importance of one tiny drop of water- each drop is filled with life.  

I look at the drops of water on my garden fountain. Like each of us, every one of these tiny little drops has collected to become a flowing stream that refreshes the soul and changes the world.

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