The smallest of tasks can make all the difference
“I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.” – Helen Keller
What makes one action any more important than another? If we are building a house, is the last nail we put in any more significant than the first? Is passing the last test in our college career any more important than passing previous tests? Is cooking a meal any more important than washing the dishes, or eating the meal? Is buying new clothes any more important than washing your clothes, or donating them?
If we look a little more deeply than usual, we will find that all of our actions and interactions are intricately related and dependent upon each other. Without the first nail in the house, there would not be a last nail – not to mention all of the nails in between. People focus on the game winning point and forget that without all of the previous points, it would not have mattered. Is the last any more important than the first? All of our accomplishments and noble deeds were a result of all of our previous actions, including our failures and hardships. We are the person we are today because of all of our previous experiences. Likewise, the person we become tomorrow is dependent, in part, upon the actions we take today.
It is in this context that we can truly make good use of Helen Keller’s advice. All of our actions and interactions, though seemly mundane, are significant and foundational to the whole of our lives. In something as simple as washing dishes, we provide a clean environment to place the food that nourishes and sustains us. When we bring attention and intention into our daily activities, we can recognize them for the great and noble deeds they truly are.
Today I invite you to recognize the value of your daily activities and engage in them with the attention and intention they deserve. – John Bruna, March 24. 2016
The above is a an excerpt from one the daily emails sent to the members of the Mindful Life Community. I invite you to explore our community and consider joining.
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