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Small Things Can Make Big Differences, Personally and Financially


(photo is of a band I used to hear on my old commute)

On Sunday, I realized again the impact that small things can have on our outlook, our situation, and our overall well-being.

First I got an encouraging e-mail from a reader. Probably not much for them, but I found it spoke particularly to something I was feeling inadequate about and cheered me up considerably.

Then we visited a new church and heard a tribute to a woman who passed away on Friday. Apparently she had really blessed those around her in big and small ways. People kept emphasizing the many “little” things she’d done for so many people and how much her life meant to them.

I didn’t know her, but I am familiar with the woman who hands out Express at my metro station every morning. She’s very friendly and unless she’s engaged with another commuter she always takes the time to wish everyone a good morning. She’ll even go as far as to say “Have a great Monday!” She also once warned me that the stairs were completely iced over, so I should be really careful. I’m sure she warned hundreds of other people that morning.

After seeing her for months and months, I took the time one morning to stop and thank her. I told her that when I’m going to work I’m normally tired and sometimes a bit grouchy, especially if it’s cold. But when she’s there with her smile and greeting it just warms me up and improves my day right away.

It’s good to honor people who do huge things and it’s good to celebrate making wise big decisions. But daily life is made up of the small stuff, and small stuff may be all you have for months.

Maybe it’s as simple as continuing in your decision not to spend beyond your means and to pay off debt. Maybe you don’t actually buy anything, pay down any debt, or maybe earn any money…you just keep going. Very important. Or you might be snowflaking your way to debt repayment a few paid surveys at a time. Those snowflakes add up.

In the same way, what you do for others or yourself can make big differences. Smiling at a person, wishing them a happy Wednesday, thanking them for anything from stepping aside to let you through to helping you redo your blog, telling them when they’ve inspired you…it can mean so much.

photo by runneralan2004

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No Shame: I can’t afford new clothes | Mrs. Micah: Finance for a Freelance Life
January 21, 2008 at 8:01 pm


dawn January 21, 2008 at 1:37 pm

Terrific post Mrs. Micah…
I think most of us are going to change or contribute to the world in all those wonderful small ways that you wrote about. Mother Teresa comes to my mind… she literally changed the world with a small kindness at a time. Small things can yield large results. You never know how a smile can change someone’s day!

Hunter Nuttall January 21, 2008 at 1:50 pm

That lady at the metro reminds me of this guy I always see at Toyota. Every day he probably talks to lots of people who are angry about their expensive repair bills, yet he’s always in a good mood. Last week I finally said something to him about it. He said he’s been working there 20 years, and he’s always in a good mood just because he thinks it’s better than frowning.

Laura January 21, 2008 at 4:49 pm

Love this post, you made my day! We can overlook the small gifts we get when we let stress overwhelm us.

fathersez January 21, 2008 at 6:10 pm

The least we can do is to give a smile or a kind word.

These cost nothing and can do wonders.

Catherine Lawson January 21, 2008 at 6:18 pm

Mrs M – What an inspirational post. The small things really do make a difference don’t they? And it’s often the small things that people remember the most.

oxymoron January 21, 2008 at 7:40 pm

fantastic post. we often in our daily lives forget our true blessings. Luke 6:31 – Do to others as you would have them do to you. So easy to recite, sometimes difficult to do. my wife and I are on a crusade to tell random people we see “Have a nice day” at least six times a day. funny the responses we get.

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