It’s graduation season and this year I have two graduates. My daughter, Grace just graduated (summa cum laude–I had to throw that in I am so proud of her!!!) from college and my son, Paul is graduating from high school (4.0+ all four years–yes another proud mama moment!!!). It’s the time to hear speeches that are heartfelt but maybe not entirely realistic. One of the messages I have heard over the years is that we should get out there and do great things. Maybe it’s my interpretation of that phrase that I am missing the point but we can’t all do great things that result in acclaim.
Sometimes when we hear messages of this nature and we look at our own lives we think we must have done something wrong. Our lives haven’t reached the notice of the masses through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or the nightly news and sometimes we feel bad about that. “Great things” are not defined by whether or not we are noticed. I think doing great things is defined by the small ways we make a positive difference in the lives of those around us. Great things might be as simple as the smile we offer to the person on the other side of the counter from us. Maybe it’s the patience we extend to the disgruntled customer, the gentle answer we offer to a child or the temporary companionship shared with a stranger while we wait in line.
When I look at the grand accomplishments of the well known I sometimes feel less-than. Remembering my value and worth are not measured against anyone, I get my footing again. Remembering it’s the small ways that I bring some light into this world, I take pride in what I do. My life, and yours, matter even if our “great things” are not advertised and we receive no accolades or income increases for them.