The Purpose of Life?  Little Things Mean A Lot

By Shlomo Maital    

Little Things    

In a recent blog, “Disney Theory of Life” (April 14),  I referred to David Brooks’ New York Times column about the purpose of life.   I offered my own theory,  based on the Disney World mantra, “Make People Happy”.

     In today’s New York Times, Brooks returns to this theme and quotes emails he received from readers.    “I expected most contributors would follow the commencement-speech clichés of our high-achieving culture:  dream big; set ambitious goals; try to change the world.  In fact,” notes Brooks, “a surprising number of people found their purpose by going the other way, by pursuing the small, happy life.”

     Examples?    Kim (apparently a therapist):  “Now my purpose is simply to be the person who can pick up the phone and give you 30 minutes in your time of crisis”.   Terence:   “big decisions have less impact on a life as a whole than the myriad of small seemingly insignificant ones.”   Hans:  “At age 85, …I am thankful to be alive. If there is one thing that keeps me focused, it’s the garden. Lots of plants died during the harsh winter, but, amazingly, the clematises and the roses are back, and lettuce, spinach and tomatoes are thriving in the new greenhouse.”

      So, bottom line?    Follow the wise advice of a woman I read about (probably in the excellent AARP retired persons’ magazine):   “Ask yourself each morning, when you wake:  what will I do for others today? And what will I do for myself?”     And, as you fall asleep at night, ask yourself, “what did I do for others today?  And what did I do for myself?” 

      A kind word?  A helping hand?  A smile?    Little things, tiny things.  They add up to something really big.   They give real meaning to our lives, one day at a time.

       Here are the words to the lovely song, Little Things Mean a Lot,  

Blow me a kiss from across the room

Say I look nice when I’m not

Touch my hair as you pass my chair

Little things mean a lot

 

Give me your arm as we cross the street

Call me at six on the dot

A line a day when you’re far away

Little things mean a lot

 

Don’t have to buy me diamonds and pearls

Champagne, sables or such

I never cared much for diamonds and pearls

’cause honestly, honey, they just cost money

 

Give me your hand when I’ve lost the way

Give me a shoulder to cry on

Whether the day is bright or gray

Give me your heart to rely on

 

Send me the warmth of a secret smile

To show me you haven’t forgot

For always and ever, now and forever

Little things mean a lot

 

Give me your hand when I’ve lost the way

Give me your shoulder to cry on

Whether the day is bright or gray

Give my your heart to rely on

 

Send me the warmth of a secret smile

To show me you haven’t forgot

That always and ever, now and forever

Little things mean a lot

 

And, here is the link to Kitty Kallen’s lovely rendition of it. http://www.oldielyrics.com/lyrics/kitty_kallen/little_things_mean_a_lot.html

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