By Tabitha Harris, Opinion Editor
How often have you seen that trendy little quotation something along the lines of “it’s the little things that matter most”? Sadly, it’s easier to re-tweet, post, or like such a statement than to actually live it out. I want to challenge you in that endeavor.
On Christmas Eve of 2016, my dad and I popped into Red Robin for an on-the-go lunch. While waiting at the counter, we noticed a young couple with their first child ordering behind us. A young woman who had been smoking outside of the mall came in and we all smiled at the rather chunky infant who was all decked-out in a Santa onesie. His proud father held him high as he showed him off to the world. The joy in the man’s eyes was beautiful. He glanced at us with a smile and cheerfully said “just got back from taking pictures with Santa”. We found out the infant’s name was Davis and that he was six months old.
The young woman reached out a finger and Davis promptly grabbed it with his chubby hand. Her face lit up and she told the father “aww, I love it when they do that”. For one shining moment, it didn’t matter that we were all complete strangers. It was Christmas Eve and a delightful infant named Davis had brought us all together. The young woman happily gazed at Davis and with a “have a good life, little buddy”, she was gone. My dad and I received our burgers shortly afterwards and we left as well, leaving Davis and his beaming parents.
We all parted ways but it was a moment that I won’t ever forget. Somewhere, years from now, a man named Davis will be forging his own path in this world never knowing that a complete stranger once wished him a good life. To me, that is incredibly amazing! It seems a small, odd, really insignificant thing but it holds a poignant truth. We cross paths with so many of our fellow humans and in moments like the one I related, God allows us to touch someone else’s life in the most thrilling of ways.
I believe this is part of what is captured in that phrase “it’s the little things in life that matter most”. So often we’re too focused on the ground that we’ve lost sight of the sky. Our heads are buried in our own troubles, responsibilities, and headaches that we forget to look up and treasure the small moments. Moments when the vending machine somehow gives you two packs of M&Ms instead of one, when you’re having an awful day and someone has the decency to give you a smile as they pass by, when you realize that despite the challenges, life really is terrific.
The secret to enjoying the little moments is realizing that we are not the center of our own universe or of any universe, for that matter. More often than not, life isn’t actually about us, it’s about the bigger picture. It’s about others and what we can do for them and for each other. We learn to enter into another joys and triumphs and forget about our own troubles and busy schedules and pleasures. We won’t be able to find the little things let alone enjoy them if we’re so wrapped up in ourselves. So let’s look up and may we never lose our sense of wonder.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, March 21st print edition.
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