The Small Things

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Photo courtesy of Humans of New York.  Click here for full post.

Last week, I read this post, and after promising myself I would hold it together during Humans of NY’s series on pediatric cancer, I totally lost it. Cried and cried and cried. And asked so many “Why?”s, the general theme of those questions being “Why is there so much suffering?” After many years of study and inquiry into the human experience, I still don’t have a comfortable answer.

Recently, I found some peace around this. A few mornings ago, I helped a young woman steer her stalled car to safety while another guy helped her push. It was a small but heart-opening thing, and a beautiful team effort. A gentle reminder that the small things matter, the small things we each do every day–the small things we don’t see on the news. I can’t save the world or cure cancer. But I can be a good samaritan to a neighbor in need. I can give a hug to a friend who is hurting, or volunteer in my community. I can listen with a compassionate ear and an open heart. Small things, but still valuable and important contributions.

-N

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