“The most important events are often determined by very trivial causes.”
So. As a self proclaimed “collector of moments” I lined up all these quotes with a couple thoughts in mind.
- Life is not as big as we make it out to be. It is actually a collection of smaller more trivial looking moments. The struggle is that life moves so frickin’ fast sometimes that you have to figure out how to do what I call “slow down the moment.” I don’t care if its work, or family or a relationship. You have to seek out the small to make sure the big turns out the way you want it to be. Or maybe better said the way it should be
- The small gesture in the trivial looking moment. Okay. Yes. It does matter what you do with the seemingly trivial moment. If you collect all the moments you took a moment and made a gesture in a seemingly trivial moment you will probably get a good gauge on your character.
Life is not as big as we make it out to be.
Sure. Life is a big event. And we have a habit of focusing on the big events that make up life.
Mostly because they are … well … big.
It is only when pushed we remember the moment before the moment. The seemingly trivial event that triggered the “big event.”
And then there are the trivial moments that don’t really impact “larger events” but rather simply let us enjoy the bigness of life through their smallness.
Like if we pay close enough attention we can also see even more trivial moments …. moments in daily life when we are suddenly caught by a seemingly trivial moment. Think of it maybe as the way an artist can focus an eye on everyday scenes or moments or becomes involved in a seemingly different dimension of an ordinary moment and is able to capture something important from something seemingly trivial. In life we are all artists (using this description).
Life just seems bigger because it I so easy to get caught up in the muddy Mississippi River of your life running its course with tugboats running back & forth pushing shit up and down it.
Ah. Those small gestures in trivial looking moments.
It really can matter what you do with a moment.
Now. I am a words guy. So sometimes a gesture can certainly be a word. Or a small group of words.
But in this case I tend to believe actions speak louder than words.
Coleridge (who, if he were still alive, would be posting shit like this on his blog) says it well:
“The happiness of life is made up of minute fractions-the little soon-forgotten charities of a kiss, a smile, a kind look, a heartfelt compliment in the disguise of a playful raillery, and the countless other infinitesimals of pleasurable thought and genial feeling.”
~Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Now. Coleridge was alive in the late 1700’s . I guess I mention this to show that the more things change the more they stay the same.
Oh. I love that word “infinitesimals.” Limitless. Infinite. Everlasting. It has a component of all these.
In today’s world it seems we prefer using short and fast ways of communication.
Texting, the quick email, some non face to face minute fractions gestures.
Happiness in life runs the risk of being overwhelmed in a cacophony of constant uninterrupted noise (where trivial moments are more difficult to not only find but cram in-between everything else).
You even hear it on radio and television where announcers are cramming more words into a minute then you would ever think are possible. It shows up in our language choice and our actions (when is the last time someone took a second to say thank you when they are rushing to get from one task to another). This has nothing to do with some genetic change in us but rather the way life seems to be running us (rather than us running life).
I did laugh about his one a little because just the other night I tried to use a text message to communicate a relatively important thing. After several emails I caught myself and realized ‘short and fast’ was probably not the most effective way … and picked up the phone.
So gestures, simple gestures, are ways of making somewhat seemingly trivial moments more important. Because, well, some moments deserve to be pulled out of trivial status and put into the important pile.
Small gestures can do wonders. And in today’s hectic life it is difficult to have time to make grand gestures. I am going to use an extreme example here but, realistically, as we look around our days and lives how often do we really have to do something big … like really big … like Shah Jahan who built Taj Mahal for his beloved. Not many of us have the time (or the resources) for something that big but we certainly have time to ‘stop’ a seemingly trivial moment and make a gesture (but if you have plans to build a Taj type thing for someone I would plan on getting started now).
But the gesture. Ah. Gestures. Even a small gesture can show the moment bears a value far beyond the trivial. And in a way it can give life permission to invest full energy down a road of possibilities.
But in the end?
There really isn’t such a thing as a trivial moment. Think about this a little before you scoff.
Think about it by working backwards. Important events don’t just happen. They are typically triggered by something.
Something that seems trivial at the moment but looking backwards was something that started the dominoes falling.
Look. I know we cannot treat every moment as ‘important.’ It’s just not possible.
But. Each moment is like a brick in the foundation of your life. As you place each brick in its place recognize that each represents one small effort that can impact the total effort. That’s it.
Oh. And one last thought from a woman who thought nothing was trivial:
“”People say, ‘What is the sense of our small effort?’ They cannot see that we must lay one brick at a time, take one step at a time. A pebble cast into a pond causes ripples that spread in all directions. Each one of our thoughts, words and deeds is like that. No one has a right to sit down and feel hopeless. There’s too much work to do.” Dorothy Day