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  • Writer's pictureD. Randall Faro

Think Big - Act Small

Think Big – Act Small. A drum I’ve been beating for decades.

Think Big. Put simply, think that what you do matters. That, in fact, it can change the world. And I mean literally. All you have to do is read A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold to realize that everything on earth is connected to everything else. It might take some time, but an action in Padang on the island of Sumatra will eventually be felt in Moscow and NYC . . . and so the reverse. I matter. You matter. We all matter. And what we do over a period of time or on any given day will affect life on this planet in some way or another.

When I first visited Namibia in 1985 it was a country militarily occupied by South Africa. My travelling companions and I were part of an international effort supporting the native Namibians’ quest for freedom; an effort to pressure South Africa to honor the United Nations directive to return the country to its huge African majority. I doubted whether this would happen in my lifetime, but in 1990 SA relented and returned control of the country to its native inhabitants. My efforts contributed to this . . . a teeny drop, but one joined to millions of others creating a wave that swept the oppressive invaders out of the land.

Act Small. Put simply, acting in small, seemingly insignificant ways is all that most of us will be able to do. Very few turn into Albert Einsteins or Mother Teresas or J.S. Bachs. So the key is to realize that the small things we do IN FACT make a difference . . . and do them. If millions of us had thought, “What I do doesn’t make any difference,” the Namibians would still live in slavery today.

A corollary to think-big-act-small is: pick something! One is easily overwhelmed by all the things that beg for our time, attention, and action, so pick something! Pick something on which to focus effort. You will pick something different from what I will. But if we’re all picking something, the bases will get covered.

We DO make a difference. That is . . . if we actually do something. For the bona fide way to ensure that nothing gets done is to do nothing.

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