About a year ago, someone I worked with passed away rather unexpectedly. A memorial website was set up where people could leave messages for the family and share their memories of him. One of my coworkers left a note that has stayed with me since.
Whenever he greeted me, he always looked me in the eye and said in his warm voice, “Hello, Celeste.” He said my name every single time.
He said her name every single time. Such a small thing. But, you know, small things have a huge meaning.
The ability to look at the big picture is synonymous with maturity. It’s important, I suppose, to be able to focus on larger issues and long term outcomes. To be able to discount petty disputes, disappointments, temporary obstacles because of the something bigger that awaits at the end of a journey. However, the bigger picture isn’t all.
The ability to zoom in on details is associated with acuity. And that’s important too. To be able to recognize and analyze the elements of a system, process or interaction makes us better at what we do. However, being better at what we do isn’t all.
It’s the small things.
It’s saying someone’s name in acknowledgement. Discovering patterns. The smell of laundry drying in the sun. The right song playing at the right time. The beauty of symmetry. Picking up a conversation where you left off. Giving yourself the time to think. That tree outside your door.
The small things. They mean an awful lot.