Little things really do matter

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sunday, we all gathered on the hill to help my brother celebrate his 30-somethingth birthday. There was good food, good fun and great memories made that afternoon, but as we were leaving I was struck by how important the little things are in life.

For example, as we were leaving, I put the car into reverse and I must have pushed on the gearshift release button a little too hard, and it popped off in my hand. I examined it for a minute, and thought that I could fix it by shoving it back from where it came. No luck.

Several tries later, I realized my attempts were not going to work. Upon closer examination, I noticed the ragged edges of the plastic and knew I was going to need professional help.

I had every intention of going to the parts house on Monday, but never made it. Every time I got into the car, I had to finagle that piece in to where the car would go from park to reverse to drive and vice versa.

When one has the desire to leave, and is unable to do so, the word “aggravating” doesn’t really seem to cover it. However, the whole experience does prove how one thing – no matter how minute or seemingly trivial – can make an impact on your everyday life.

At the same time, it’s the little things in life that can mean the most – a kind word, a smile a good deed when it’s not expected.

Right after school started, The Star-News ran a story on how Andalusia High School was papered with butterflies. Big and small, some brightly colored and others not – nearly every wall had a butterfly on it.

Why, one might ask? Because everything you do matters, which was exactly the message delivered to Andalusia High School students by New York Times bestselling author Andy Andrews. Andrews’ book The Butterfly Effect tells the tale of a schoolteacher from Maine who fought in the Civil War and made a decision 150 years ago that positively impacted an entire nation. By charging the enemy without ammunition – and defeating them – Chamberlin set off a butterfly effect that lasts to this day.

As I attended Monday’s board of education meeting in the AHS media room, I noticed those butterflies are still hanging from the ceiling and papering the walls. And as I listened to a group of parents and students try to convince the board to establish middle school and high school soccer teams, I was struck by the parallels of life – it’s the little things we do in life that matter.