Twenty Years of Ripples 1999-2019
Ripples #1025: The Greatness of Your Smallness!
Jan 14, 2019
The true heroes are more concerned with helping than with advertising their own acts. Become one of them, in the silence of your achievements and the greatness of your smallness.
-Joanna de Ângelis, shared by Murillo in Champaign, IL
A true hero gets out of bed every morning and goes about life’s daily tasks, unnoticed, unassuming and unsung. A true hero takes on responsibility, gives out credit, and always looks for ways to solve a problem. A true hero speaks kindly, acts fairly, endures patiently, enjoys easily. And, facing every day with a simple strength, a true hero persists in the things that matter.
-source unknown, shared by dear D (who fervently lives this quote)
Fictional super heroes tend to be larger than life and do a magnificent job of inspiring hope and excitement while saving the world over and over again. They help us remember that good can indeed conquer evil, and I value their expansive personas.
In the real world, I believe most of the goodness gets unleashed by everyday heroes who quietly go about their day, making a difference at their jobs and around their community and even in their back yard. These fine human beings make ethical decisions even when they assume no one is watching; they go out of their way to provide assistance when they spot someone in need; and importantly, they are able to extend patience and compassion even when others seem to be running low on reserves of kindness.
While most of them don’t need the ego gratification of being in the spotlight, I suspect they do appreciate knowing that their efforts are making a difference and that what they are doing matters. You can tend to the care and feeding of these heroes by keeping your eyes open for great small things and taking the time to deliver subtle, sincere thank yous in the form of head nods, high fives, or perhaps handwritten notes of gratitude.
These small gestures confirm the “greatness of their smallness,” and allow these unsung heroes to “persist in the things that matter.” Quietly acknowledging their heroism not only will allow you to witness first hand how good it feels to be validated by others, you’ll get a glimpse of how good it feels to deliver that validation. It may seem rather small, but it is indeed pretty great, too!
The Ripples Guy
P.S. It’s hard to believe that it has now been 20 years since we began sending out these weekly splashes of inspiration. Shortly after we sent out the first issue on January 12, 1999 to 75 people, we began receiving a steady stream of positive feedback, requests to join the list, and submissions of inspirational content to be considered for a future issue. Thank you for the support and encouragement, and thanks for reading!