About Small Things

Mission

We at Small Things passionately believe that each and every one of us is presented with hundreds of opportunities each and every day to make the world a better place.  Through seemingly insignificant actions as simple as a smile, a kind word to a stranger, an effortless act of service, and the decision to buy eco-friendly dish soap (the list is endless!), we add just a little lightness and care to this world so choked with negativity and stress. 

At the most basic level, we believe that each of us is contributing energy to the world in every single moment we live and with every single choice we make.  Moment to moment, that energy is either just a little bit positive (and sometimes a lot) or just a little bit negative (and sometimes a lot) – but it is never neutral.  Our energy, whether positive or negative, sets off chain reactions that ripple out into the world with a snowball effect…rendering our seemingly insignificant small choices pretty darn influential. 

Picture this scenario:  A man has a rough day at work.  He stops at the market on the way home and as he’s leaving the store, already irritated, his bag breaks and his groceries go flying everywhere.  You are passing by at that moment, and in a rush yourself, you turn your head the other way and hurry on by. The man is now feeling so frustrated that he goes home and picks a fight with his wife, who then yells at their son, who gets in a fight at school the next day, and on it goes in a spiral of negativity.

But imagine instead that you take the time to make eye contact with the man and smile understandingly, and imagine that you even take 30 seconds out of your busy life to help him retrieve his canned goods.  This small act of service, which really takes nothing out of you, may very well have the power to turn his day around and may even restore his faith in humanity in some small measure (and it will probably enhance your mood as well).  He goes home, kisses his wife, they have a nice dinner and read their son a bedtime story.  Bolstered by his secure home life and his strong sense of self, the child does particularly well at school the next day…and goes on to eventually become valedictorian of his class and ultimately builds a hospital for orphans in Africa.  (Okay, maybe we’re exaggerating just a bit to make a point, but maybe, just maybe, in a certain sense we’re not.)  It rings true, doesn’t it? 

When it comes right down to it, life is constantly offering us the choice in any given moment between showing up in the world with love, openness, wisdom, compassion…or fear, closure, and shortsightedness.  It is up to us.  We are, quite literally, creating the future with our small choices today.  Nothing less than the future of our species and the future of our planet rest in the balance. 

At Small Things we recognize that it can often be overwhelming to think in these terms…that the world hangs in the balance and we are responsible.  We wonder:  What can we do as individuals that can really make a difference?  Sometimes it just seems so big that it’s easier to check out and watch a little T.V.  But you see, it’s all about the small things – the moment-to-moment little choices that mean so much when taken cumulatively and collectively.  Life is essentially a collection of moments, and every great journey starts with the first step.  As Mother Theresa once said, “Be faithful in small things because it is them that your strength lies.”  Similarly, Vincent Van Gogh observed, “Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” 

Not only this, but the process of bringing greater awareness to our individual moments and choices – the Buddhists call it mindfulness – is not just a means but also an end in itself.  As a very wise person once said, “The journey is the destination.”  Truer words may never have been spoken. We believe that the practice of mindfulness itself has the power to shift our consciousness, transform our lives, and heal the planet we all inhabit together. 

For these very reasons, we created SmallThings.net to inspire and empower individuals to cultivate awareness and make the best possible choices in any given moment for themselves, their families, their communities, and our world.  Whether the context is our intimate relationships, our jobs, the environment, or dealing with traffic…you name it – all of it counts!  Most importantly, we want to have fun and be creative while we do it.  We want to learn, to grow, to broaden our perspective and think of things in new ways, taking into account things we may never have even considered before.  Ultimately, we want to expand the boundaries of who we thought we were and shatter our old outmoded views of the “way things are.”  We create the way things are, and “it” is not static.

In that spirit, we invite you to participate.  The collection of wisdom that is SmallThings.net did not just come from us – it is a constantly expanding compilation of our experience and our learning, which ultimately arose out of the collective (and of course a little wisdom from Grandma).  Cruise around the site – check out our tips, try a few exercises, ponder the different perspectives of the masculine and feminine on relationship issues, and please, by all means, speak up and contribute your ideas and insights.  We can’t wait to hear from you…Let’s evolve together!

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- Mark Epstein

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