Tiny but Mighty

Small things are often believed to have less meaning. Small people can be teased, small accomplishments undervalued, small houses undesired. Even job titles such as server, or maintenance, administrator, teacher, or gardener get dismissed as careers because they are viewed as small.

My stepdaughter coined the “tiny but mighty” slogan in our house when she was eight years old and fearful of not growing beyond five feet tall as an adult woman. We measured her against the kitchen wall obsessively, and celebrated each micro increment marked off. One day, when there wasn’t a mark to be made, she shrugged her shoulders, spun around on her heels, and proclaimed, “It’s okay! No matter what happens, I will always be tiny but mighty!” 

The expression stuck. I think of it when somebody says, “I don’t know if I even make a difference in this world.” I ask, “Did you smile at anyone today?” When they acknowledge doing so, I remind them they made a tiny but mighty difference. It can be tough to smile at somebody else when our world feels harsh or overwhelming.

When young people, with kind hearts and motivation to use their intelligence for meaning, are asked what they’d like to do, they often say, “I want to be a teacher, artist, writer, etc., but I can’t make enough money doing that.” They are forced to overlook these tiny but mighty jobs, the glue of compassionate, well-functioning societies, in exchange for higher-paying jobs that can support homes and healthcare but offer far less interpersonal significance. This perpetuates a cycle that further drives basic needs out of reach of those who do risk their livelihood to inspire and educate others.

More is not always better. We’ll all have to reckon with this, even if we unconsciously choose to bury our collective heads in the sand. Resources are limited, so taking less is sometimes the better choice, for our mutual survival.

Size doesn’t always equal strength. Systems—from families to societies—could benefit from less brute force and more discernment, conscious awareness, and skillful action. In fact, the more power one yields, the tinier, or subtler, their choices and communications should become when interacting with their environments, if evolution is what’s intended.

Might exists in the menial. A factory job is critical. So is a farming job. And the delivery driver, and the caretaker. There is not a single person reading this blog post who would be able to do what we do without all the above. So, for the sake of respect and rebuilding a place we want to inhabit for the unforeseeable future, can we please begin to value these roles and the incredible people who inhabit them as mighty?

Imagine this: For one day everyone around the globe flipped what they viewed as successful or famous. There’s news coverage of the man in the fields who grows our food by day, works as a guard protecting us by night, and still shows up as a dad and husband to his family. We hear about the woman who pulls her car over mid-freeway to stop oncoming traffic and usher a mama duck with her eight scared goslings across the lanes of traffic to safety and receives a standing ovation. Or maybe it’s you who is the star, deciding not to numb your pain with food, alcohol or drugs, who refrains from judging somebody on the Internet whom you’ve never even met. Those choices make immeasurable unseen difference in the hope of shifting global suffering. That’s tiny but mighty too!

I write because I must. Ultimately, it means nothing. And it means everything … to me. A treasure without a price! I write to be sure my actions align with my heart. This act is tiny. And it’s mighty because each time I do it, I face my fears, inadequacies, and longings for all living beings to experience peace. 

What are you leaving behind because you think it’s too tiny, or not important enough?

It takes impressive strength to consistently perform small though sometimes seemingly meaningless acts. So don’t forget to walk around on occasion noticing all the tiny but mighty people who enrich your life! Let them know you see them. Tell them you appreciate them and why. That acknowledgment will put a smile in your (and their) heart.

And by the way, my stepdaughter is now five feet five inches tall. Far less tiny than we imagined, and far mightier than I could have dreamed! 

Image credit: Pixabay