The Power of Small Things

In disaster movies, when the asteroid is rapidly hurtling toward Earth, most often the first answer is the worst answer: blow it up! Those who should know better usually decide to launch one or many more of our most powerful weapons at the singular threat and thereby create thousands of deadly shards, multiplying the danger.

Sometimes we approach problems the same way, looking for the Big Fix. When we feel stuck, powerless, lost, or afraid we try to find or attract the quickest and least painful way out. Usually, this involves some external power, the White Knight, to take it away. Yet most often, this hope is futile and may lead to ineffective or no action.

Big Fixes generally don’t actually happen, and when they do, the effects are sometimes not as expected. Big Fixes most often come with Big Complications or Big Consequences.

There is another, wiser way. The best way to deal with the approaching asteroid is not to blow it up, but rather to place on it a small rocket engine. It doesn’t have to be very powerful. The meager power of a 60 watt lamp can be all it takes to push steadily, consistently at the asteroid, enough to alter its course.

In the beginning, that small, constant push won’t change the asteroid’s course very much, perhaps just a degree. But over time, it can be enough to make it miss its target entirely.

When you feel stuck, powerless, afraid, or lost, just try something small. Do something. Take a step in any direction. Just one step can change your perspective, can get things in motion, can make you feel a little better, a little stronger. From this new vantage point, see where to step next. And take that next step.

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