Wednesday, February 27, 2013

By Small and Simple Things

Lovely, isn't it?  I spent a year on this cross stitch, which hangs in my son's room now.  People often look over my shoulder when they see me stitching and tell me "I could never do that!  It's far too difficult and complex!"  Can you tie a knot, follow directions and thread a needle?  Then I assure you, you can do it.  All it takes is one stitch at a time.

Life is like that.  It isn't the big things that make a difference.  It's all the little things.  I know two people, both wanting to be friends with the other, but one has learned from sad experience that if she gives too much to the other his pride would take over and he will only take her for granted.  For his part, he has repeatedly stated his intention to make it up to her somehow by doing something grand and marvelous to even the relationship and make up for all the disappointments he has leveled on her.  So here they are, plodding through years of not talking much and the distance between them growing ever wider.  Performing one act of superb quality wouldn't have much effect now.  She would only think he was doing so in order to gratify his overarching pride.  What would have an effect would be his picking up the phone, dialing her number and saying hello.  Their relationship would change radically.  And if he did it repeatedly they could both have the friendship they claim to want. 

When we see massive achievements we want, remember that we usually don't accomplish anything in one great leap.  It takes step after step, and moment after moment.  We accomplish great things here a little and there a little.  I remember when I was working on one particularly difficult cross stitch I mentioned to a friend that my goal was to complete two threads a night, which took about three hours.  She scoffed at the idea of two threads making much of a difference.  If we are looking for an immediate finish line, it might seem discouraging.   But continue and at long last you find you've created a masterpiece. 

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