Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Smallest Thing - It All Comes Together

The other day in a workshop on environmentalism, we heard about how people feel confronted by the overwhelming amount of what needs to be done, so they push it all away and do nothing.

Last night our UUA president was talking about how UUism can become more ethnically and racially diverse. He said that we don't get from here, where we are, to there, the true reflection of the diversity of the world, in one step. What we need to do is take the first step, perhaps the easiest step or perhaps the hardest.

Today Thomas Moore is talking about where we start in soul work, and he said something similar. We need to whittle it down to the smallest thing, the smallest change we can make. That's the change we need to make. That's a big challenge.

All too often in our lives we avoid doing anything because the task is too large. The truth is we need to take the small step. Letting ourselves be overwhelmed by the big picture gives us the luxury to not act at all. What we need to do is much harder: take the small step.

Strangely enough, this also relates to what I tell me English composition students. Too often they try to tackle a big subject, particularly in descriptive papers, and what I get is a shallow analysis. What is much more powerful is to take the small subject, and then really do it justice.

It all comes together to this: find the smallest step towards your soul, towards justice, towards your vocation, and take it.

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