I have a young friend, age 7, who has roots on three continents. He has only been speaking English for a little over a year. While his accent is more or less American, he speaks with a precision that is seldom found in our young people.

Yesterday, I was speaking with him after school. He was enjoying a yogurt drink. He threw the cap in the trash. (Our school collects plastic bottle caps which get recycled and the proceeds are donated to provide wheelchairs for children.) I said to him, Don’t you want to save that for the collection? He gave me a look like it would be way too much trouble to fish it out of the trash and carry it (20 steps!) to the kitchen.

I said, They use those for wheelchairs for children.

He said, in his precise English, What is a wheelchair?

It’s a chair for children who can’t walk. Like Isaac (my son).

He said, No they do not! That is too small!

I explained to him that they don’t use the actual caps, but the money they earn from them to help provide wheelchairs for children.

It was a funny moment, but it made me think. How often do I think that things are too small to bother with. My little bottle cap makes no difference. I might as well just throw it away.

Not true.

Not true with things. Not true with people.

What I have and what I am is enough. God promised me so. I just need to give it faithfully, diligently, even when 20 steps feels like too much of a bother.

Here’s one of my favorite quotes:

 Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little. – Edmund Burke

Here’s another:

I do it for Jesus. Mother Theresa


This morning I was going through some papers and came across a page of stickers. I handed them to my 9 year old who was standing at my elbow. A few minutes later she stuck one on my shirt, shoulder level.

I kept working.n617753997_1570348_6612

A couple hours later, the sticker on my shirt caught my eye and I looked at it. I “heart” mom!, it says.

In these early days of the new year, everyone’s talking about goals and resolutions. No matter how much I weigh at the end of the year, or whether I achieve what I would like to academically or professionally, I will have a 10 year old and an 8 year old and a 17 year old who “heart” me. Achievement and ambition pale in comparison.

What little thing will you celebrate today?

This post is one in a series on perspective.