Small Celebrations in a Super-Sized Workplace
The little things always seem to make such a big difference.
When I was young, growing up in a neighborhood of caring souls, small gestures of kindness spoke the loudest: a pat on the back, an encouraging word, a listening heart, twinkling eyes, quiet courage, smiles, nods of approval, a quiet side-by-side stroll where the conversation was no-conversation and the content was abundantly clear. And prayer, Bible study, and church in all of it.
The little things.
In our home, it was my Mama's simple meals served with love and hospitality for all, the early art displayed for all to see, the letters of love posted to surprise and tickle the heart, the design and making of school clothes, toys, and books. Ice cream churning, gardening, storytelling, and rocking chair comfort for the first to claim their space. Invented games, adventure trips to the zoos, concerts, and museums for as many as could fit in our old car. Every week presented new discoveries at the community library where we traveled the world and met its people in books. Yes, and prayer, Bible study, and church in all of it.
All those richly wonderful little-big-things that rocked our world with unspoken joy and goodness.
Decades later, those little-big-things still mean the most—especially in the world of work. Too many people fear kindness, respect, and appreciation will be taken as a sign of weakness, but those little-big-things make a world of difference in our commitment to a Christian walk. Every work experience is an opportunity for excellence. Courtesy and manners are never outdated, nor is speaking in a tone of voice that is thankful and hopeful. Effortless tiny things make a world of difference.
A high-powered CEO once told me his secrets of success. He said simply, I kill everyone with kindness. We discussed how challenging it can be to find the divine in others. But when that magic moment occurs, we see God in them and they can begin to see God in us.
"I laugh every day," he added, "mostly at myself. In fact, I laugh as much as possible. I have a host of silly jokes that I come armed to share."
Humor reduces us all to acceptability.
"Sometimes my jokes are really funny," he continued, "and people thoroughly enjoy them or at least I think they do!" The CEO chuckled. "Sometimes my jokes are lame, and people laugh at me. But I'm laughing with them. That's what's important. When we laugh together, we connect as human beings and celebrate a God-moment."
Wow! What a little thing. Laughing together brings us closer to one another.
God gives all of us little ways to extend human kindness: our hearts, our minds, our bodies. In our age of super-fast and super-sized, we can easily forget the power of a smile, nod, word of encouragement, even a kiss from across the room. I try to keep these little things at the top of my to-do list. As I successfully check off each one, I find myself moving above the mental, physical, and spiritless noise and haste of the day.
Please know that I don't always find it easy to see God in others or myself. I have an unwavering belief that our divine spark exists, but I have to remind myself as often as possible. Let us challenge one another to celebrate each reminder. Let us share those little things that make such a big difference every day for everyone around us.