We should all appreciate the little things

We should all appreciate the little things

I can admit without hesitation that my world for the past 20 years or so was relatively small, as was my awareness of it. This past weekend, however, I found myself overlooking the city skyline of New York City.

Suddenly, my all-too-familiar small world became much, much larger.

One thing and one thing only came to mind: How in the world do my small daily actions play any kind of real significance in such a massive world? How is it our actions on a day-by-day basis play into a world full of skyscrapers, thousands of businessmen and women bustling to and from work and countries and people we may never touch or interact with in our lifetime?

Significance. It was a word all too familiar. A word that suddenly haunted me, a word that weighed heavily, a word that followed me. How am I, how is what I do – how is what we do – significant.

In New York, a city where I could one day end up following journalism, I suddenly found myself questioning all the little articles and small stories I had written – stories like that of little hidden gems, book shops and coffee nooks.

Perhaps this is a concern many of us, especially in our early twenties, seem to face. We question the significance of our majors and whether or not they’ll actually take us big places one day. We question whether our dreams are feasible, whether we’re capable, whether or not we’re actually making a difference.

After a weekend full of local restaurants, streetside strolls and a handful of bagels, I made my way back to Tuscaloosa and fumbled into my house somewhere around two in the morning, bags in hand. I glanced at my mail on the side table, slipped the envelope in between my teeth and worked my way up the stairs to my bedroom. I dropped my bags, crawled into bed and slid open my envelope.

I was greeted by a corgi on the face of a card. From the corgi’s mouth hung a sign with a simple “thank you.” After opening the card, a hand-written note read:

“Christina,

Your article in the Crimson White was everything we could hope for and more. We’ve had new customers in who mentioned your article. Thank you so much, you were fun to work with and talk to. Please come back soon.

Thank you, the ladies of The Book Rack”

And with that, the world became wonderfully small again.

At the end of the day, I force myself to believe people read magazines. I force myself to believe the little articles matter. I force myself to believe mankind cares about culture and travel and the anthropology of human societies beyond our own.

No matter the hurt done to me or the hurt done to others, I force myself to believe in the absolute highest potential of every individual I encounter. There’s nothing better than getting that one seed who exceeds your expectations and restores your faith in the capabilities of mankind despite the letdowns.    

One time, that’s all it takes. One person. One moment.

We’ll take part in a lot of small doings throughout our lives, and whether we realize it or not, these doings lead us to that one action or moment or person that changes everything.

Believe in the small things, because one day, all of those small things, all of those little actions, all of the misshaped puzzle pieces will slide into place and the picture will become crystal clear. 

Do not get swept up in the enormity of our world. It has been made and created to go beyond our dreams and capabilities so that our potential remains limitless. Believe that the amplification of just one life is an act of value in this world, even if that’s your own.

One day, you’ll receive your own corgi card, and everything will be worth it.

Christina Ausley is junior majoring in journalism. Her column runs biweekly. 

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