‘Little things’ add up quickly

Published 12:14 am Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sometimes I stumbled upon the most interesting things and often I find them on the Internet. That is what happened the other day. I don’t remember exactly what I was looking for when I remembered a site, “Living Compassion,” that a friend told me about in an e-mail. When the Web page popped up, the statement at the top got my attention. It said, “Peace through personal transformation.”

Peace is good and personal transformation — well, who among us can’t use a little personal transformation. So I read, nodding my head in agreement at these words.

“Everywhere I go I talk with people who feel depressed, overwhelmed and defeated by the state of our environment. When one’s reaction to the latest disaster is, ‘Oh, no, I don’t want to hear any more, I can’t take it,’ it’s hard to get enthusiastic about jumping in to make a difference. Jump in where? Do what? It’s too much!”

That is exactly how I feel sometimes. Like the problems and challenges facing our world are just too big, certainly too big for me do something that will make any difference. So I read on …

“And, of course it would be too much if each one of us had to do it all. But, from now on we’re not going to believe those voices, because each of us will be focusing on just the one thing (can be any size thing), that we will do (or not do) every day to help ourselves, one another, and our world.”

I liked what I read and I liked the name of a project called Onething!

The idea is for people to support each other as they take on doing one good thing, doesn’t have to be something big. And there was even a list of suggestions. Some are good for the environment; others are good things you do for other people and some are good things you do for you. Here are a few of the ideas.

say “thank you” 10 times a day

when you see things about people you like, tell them

spend time in nature

spend quiet time every day

be kinder to yourself than you think you should be

acknowledge daily accomplishments

line dry clothes

meet your neighbors

leave a thank you note for the mail carrier

thank people who touch your life

use CFL light bulbs

buy produce from local growers

plant something

turn off lights when not in use

have a family dinner one night a week without TV

compliment your children

compliment your parents

say “hello” to a stranger

smile at a stranger

pick up a piece of trash

shop at the local farmer’s market once a month

recycle one thing

choose glass over plastic whenever possible

read one uplifting thing a day

acknowledge yourself for the efforts you’re making

get your next pet at the shelter


donate to a local charity

 read to a child

focus on what’s working

look in the mirror and smile

support local businesses

tell someone you love them

greet and treat service people with kindness

turn off the water when you brush your teeth

let somebody else go first

drive the speed limit

As I read the list, I saw a bunch of “one things” I can do pretty easily. A card designed for use with the project reads, “…We can’t all do everything, but each of us can do one thing.”

And what might happen if many of us commit to doing one good thing every day. Well who knows it just might bring our world a little of that peace through personal transformation.