Book Review: Nothing’s too small to make a difference


[…] But perhaps the most heartwarming thing I found in this remarkable little book is a short sentence in an essay by co-editor Wanda Urbanska as she writes about the Simple Living television series she hosted.

A mantra which threaded overtly and subliminally throughout the show’s 39 episodes … “Nothing’s too small to make a difference.” Picking up a trash-bound paperclip, repurposing your mother’s 1960s skirt into kitchen curtains, installing a water-saving, dual-flush commode; each of these action steps qualified.

“Nothing’s too small to make a difference.” In the short days since I’ve read that phrase, it has given me enormous peace of mind.

In the Transition movement I often immerse myself in the huge problems, the sweeping issues. How do we transform an entire society? How do we Transition a city the size of Los Angeles? How do we bring along the poor and the extremely poor, not just the upper-middle-class white faces? What events or programs will best get the attention of those upper-middle-class faces, entrenched as they are with teeth gritted in the final throes of the Industrial Growth Complex rat race?

So often I forget to value what I do have. “Nothing’s too small to make a difference” has given me enormous relief this week. An hour spent weeding the community garden. A meal which includes vegetables from my own backyard. Watching my kids sit in the cage with our new chickens. There is great joy in these little moments.

The journey to the post-petroleum future is going to be made up of a bazillion of these “too small” events. It is the cumulative energy that creates the Transition movement. Yet there is joy in the details. No, it doesn’t make U.S. dollar sense to raise city chickens, but it makes enormous difference to my kids and to my own heart. No, it doesn’t change the world if my dinner includes only a few homegrown ingredients. But it’s a start. And at this point on the timeline, we need to remember to value each of those little “too small” steps. We need to make space in our lives to appreciate and honor the “starts.”

Less is More and the Simplicity movement remind us that the inner goal is “knowing who you are, being clear about your values, understanding what brings true well-being.” In this context, each of the erstwhile “too small” steps has value. Each brings us that much closer to the mark …

of living the way we dream of living;
of living a life of deeper integrity;
of putting a foot more firmly onto the moving sidewalk into that Transitioned future;
of bringing yet one more small bit of the future to reality, today.
Original article here.