This may sound strange coming from a rabbi, but I am really grateful for many inscriptions I encounter as I pass the outside of churches in my neighborhood. Needless to say I, as a Rabbi, do not subscribe to those statements that promote Christianity. However, often I come across words that touch the spiritual life of all people, regardless of formal faith commitments and affiliations.
One in particular resonated with my quest for realities that are rationales for gratefulness.
It read: ”Enjoy little things; there are so many of them.”
Sadly, many of us hold out for the big things, refusing to recognize the joy and meaning contained in the myriad numbers of small things in life. As a matter of fact, I can now hear myself humming a popular tune of the fifties whose title was:”Little things mean a lot.”
Rather than paying attention to the wide array of ordinary things, we take them for granted in such a way that they no longer impress us with their value and significance and as a result, our lives become diminished. Instead of seeing the so much as the bounty of life for which to be infinitely grateful, we greedily await something outside of the ordinary assured that only the acquisition of the rare is a reason to be grateful. Meanwhile, life’s on-going, little gifts of which there are so many pass us by and we experience life as unfulfilling, approaching little things resentfully and unhappily.
So, “enjoy the little things. "In the words of Mary Oliver, “ Pay attention, be astonished …” The greater our sense of gratefulness for little things, the greater will our awareness and experience of joy be when the big thing comes along as well."Who does not thank for little things, will not thank for much." Estonian proverb.