Internal Climate Change
Small things, small changes are nothing to turn up your nose at. If you recall, the mighty oak once started from a tiny seed, the strong and small ant, so close to things, is capable of carrying up to ten times his weight by himself. Yet we shirk at small, we think it's got to be big or cause a monumental shift in order to make a difference. Or perhaps that's just me.
We mistakenly believe that big and bold is the answer, while the truth of the matter is the only hope we have for changing the world is to do the little things well and do the little things first.
And boy howdy, we need a climate change in our homes before we can tackle the climate change in our world.
After all, if we can't even treat each other with kindness, what's to say that we will do that outside of our homes, to strangers, to our earth? How on earth can we go about the task of respecting the earth if we can't even figure out how to respect each other in our own homes? How are we going to tackle the big issues beyond our own front doors?
After all, we can't go at it alone, can't make the big changes we need until we start small and quiet. And a hint: most times on our knees in humbleness is where we first get that whisper of what needs to change about this world.
And another hint – changing the world most often starts with changing ourselves. I know, it's so deceptively sneaky, isn't it?
But that's a truth that we call all agree on, even if some of us are shaking heads and muttering under our breath that we don't want to change. But whether you mutter about it or not, in order to change the tall and looming issues of this world (climate change is only one of the items on the long to-do list) we need to realize how small changes can truly make a large and positive impact on our lives.
We know something needs to change when we realize we are kinder to those outside the home than those within its walls, when we seemingly have more patience with those on the street than the family we created. It's a sure sign we're overdue for a climate change.
When we stop and wonder why we can't see eye to eye with the ones we choose to be with, but are accepting of differences in those outside of our home, it's a reminder that it's time for a climate change within.
In case, like me, you've forgotten – the freshest air is the air we can actually change ourselves, and most often in comes in the form of kindness, compassion, and mercy.
Mostly it's sweet mercy. For those dirty socks, that pile of dishes, the unmade bed and the thousand other things that tend to drive us up the wall about one another, how sweet the scent of grace can be when we open the doors of our souls to emulate it.
A breeze of change in our attitudes – like love and laughter and an ease of spirit when a little someone spills the milk for what seems like the 40th time this week – or choosing a spirit of joy even amongst the morning routine circus. And especially in the intermission of we're-running-behind-and-where-are-your-shoes? Joy in those moments counts the most, just so you know.
The small change of seeing the authentic joy between the toast crumbs and the dance of the missing keys is small, so tiny, but so important. And yes, I sing this hymn to myself too, because goodness, I'm not removed from that morning dance that most days is still chaos, not a badly wrapped gift of joy. But it is, a mushed-up package of joy that most days I discount as inconvenience.
These small changes are where it's at. As anyone who's overcome anything difficult (quitting smoking, giving up an addiction, trying to cut gummi bears out of your diet) will tell you, it isn't conquering the big issue of quitting that's the hardest, it's the small daily stuff that is not only a challenge, but also ultimately the way out. It's those small daily decisions that get you to the finish line where you look back and wonder how it is that you were able to run more than five miles without stopping.
It is truly about the little things. While it sounds corny (it probably is) and a far stretch to say that in order to change the world, our climate and dialogues within our own homes need to change, it's true. It cannot be truer, for the home is a small microcosm of our world. And if you can't get along at home and appreciate others at home, what on earth makes you think you can get along with others or change the whole world?
It all starts at home, including climate change. So let's begin anew, and change the climate within our homes, by speaking love and truth to each other first.
Then let's see what happens.
It will be nothing short of earth-changing, I bet.