In a world that often feels like it is hurtling in the absolute wrong direction, it can feel impossible to combat the evil. I am so small, what difference can I make?!? Scrolling through even one minute of the news and my heart breaks. My cozy bed starts calling and my indifferent shell starts to harden.
But the longer I practice as a therapist, the more I observe how tiny changes can produce massive effects over the long haul—both good and bad. It's the small, momentary decisions that actually change everything; one tiny step in a different direction.
To feel there is any hope I have to shrink the scope of my focus to the sphere directly around me. What are the small, manageable differences I can make in the lives of the people around me? Here are three of the tiny protests I attempt:
Tip Big - Not kind of big, like the options it gives me on the receipt. REALLY big. I'm probably not going to change the economy with this one, but it makes the world of difference to a hard-working waitress who's been on her feet all day. She's working her butt off, enduring disrespect, unwarranted disgruntled complaints and sexual harassment, and then barely making ends meet. What can I do? Pay the girl.
Drive Slow - Some of you speed demons may hate me for this, but I generally feel the world is moving WAY too fast. We rush past incredible sights, feelings of love and satisfaction, celebration of wins, and moments of joy. Just choosing to drive the speed limit not only makes life safer for everyone, it also helps me remember to enjoy my life. There is time for everything that actually needs to be done.
Listen - Similar to #2, it's easy to feel like I need to rush in any human interaction to get my point across. I want to be seen. I want to be heard. I have things to do. Most humans are lacking in their need to be heard. There's a chasm in every heart that needs to be regularly filled by a kind listener and there's just not enough of those to go around. If someone is willing to share, I want to be ready to listen.
What are your tiny protests?
Unsplash photo credit: Sreendh N T