It doesn’t take much

by Starla J. King on December 10, 2012

Riding the elevated subway (oxymoron, much?!) line in Philly last week, I was surprised to see a slightly tattered gift bow tied onto the upper grab rail… and flimsy snowflake decals on a few of the windows…. and another coupla metallic bows stuck on divider panels.  It wasn’t all that pretty, and it didn’t seem very skilled, but it felt like someone cared.

It wasn’t much, but it made my heart feel like the Holidays.

A few minutes later while walking the few blocks home, I saw a couple of white paint stripes on the sidewalk ahead.  Turns out they were the roughly-painted edges of two quite uneven sidewalk slabs — a non-verbal caution to keep folks from tripping.    It wasn’t all that pretty, and it didn’t seem very skilled, but it felt like someone cared.

It wasn’t much, but it made me feel valued.

Almost home, I turned the corner to walk up my street, and was stopped in my tracks by a hastily-scrawled note on a piece of cardboard duct-taped across a multi-level crack in the sidewalk:  “WATCH YOUR STEP.”  It wasn’t all that pretty, and it didn’t seem very skilled, but it felt like someone cared.

 It wasn’t much, but it made that line of houses feel like a neighborhood.

It’s easy to think our acts are only as good as their magnitude, or beauty, or skill, or price, or effort, or public recognition, or [fill in your blank], but what matters most is that you do them.  Especially if you think they’re not all that pretty, and they don’t seem very skilled, but it feels like you care.

It doesn’t take much to make a difference, so don’t let needing more get in your way.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

tina burkholder December 10, 2012 at 2:52 pm

Starla – thank you for these moments of tenderness. You describe and we receive! And I add that if we hesitate, waiting for the ‘more’ to be there the moment of opportunity may slip away.

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Starla J. King December 11, 2012 at 10:39 am

Ah yes, Tina… the importance of taking the moment as it shows up!

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