“What we are doing is just a drop in the ocean.  But if that drop was not in the ocean, I think the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.  I do not agree with the big way of doing things.:”

— Mother Teresa

Sometimes it seems as though the things we do are less than unnoticed and unspectacular.  It seems as though our efforts to contribute are futile and without impact.  Day after day we live in our own small parts of a great, wide universe.  We are the big fish in the tiny little ponds, doing what feels important in our contained existence.  Then we hear news of the world outside our own, the one that expands into the far reaches of the Earth.  There are wars and there are people dying of hunger.  There are ideologies that say they embrace the same virtues, but they are held by people who leave virtue behind and hate or exclude all who do not embrace those virtues according to their own set of rules and beliefs.  There is damage being done to the planet by our need for ever more conveniences whose production fills our air and our water with pollutants that threaten to destroy the things we need most for survival.

Here I sit in my tiny little town.  I like to think that I live my awareness of the needs of humanity.  I try to be kind.  I smile at strangers.  I try to reach beyond the beliefs that divide us and see the similarities that make us one.  I try to meet the needs of those who hunger — for food or for love and understanding.  I think of the Earth, and I recycle my waste.  I look for ways to use and reuse materials that will not add to the pile of debris that soon will cover our planet.  It all seems important and even worthwhile until I begin to think of how huge the world really is and how vast the problems are that plague us all.  It is then that I feel inadequate.

Who we are and the things we do truly are no more than drops in the ocean.  If I am the one drop of fresh water that is added to the vast, saltwater sea, I really can feel like my contribution has no significance.  Then I consider how many people, in other small places, also do the kind and loving things that express their bond with all people and their love for our planet.  Suddenly I have a vision of millions of drops of fresh water bringing new vitality to the ocean of life.  If all people really are my brothers and sisters, then I must trust that the small contributions that each of us brings to healing our world will combine to produce a meaningful result.  We must continue to make our small efforts in our tiny towns and have faith that we will send out ripples that will soon make waves in the vast and endless sea.