Daily Tao / 311 – Smallness

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You may be capable of great things,
But life consists of small things.

Big things seldom come along. One should know the small as well as the big. We may all yearn to make lasting achievements and to be heroes, but life seldom affords us the opportunities to do so. Most of our days consist of small things — the uneventful meditations, the ordinary cooking of meals, the banal trips to work, the quiet scratching in the garden — and it is from these small things that the larger events of life are composed.

We rarely have the occasion to make grand gestures. The champion gymnast’s greatest moment is but an hour out of an entire lifetime. The works of great artists are view for very short times. The master musician’s best composition is but one work in a sea of musical tones. If we want to be successful, it is the small things that we should pay attention to.

We must not fall into the trap of waiting so long for the big things that we let numerous small chances slip right by us. People who do this are always waiting for life to be perfect. They complain that fate is against them, that the world does not recognize their greatness. If they would lower their sights, they would see all the beautiful opportunities swirling at their feet. If they would humble themselves enough to bend down, they could scoop untold treasures up into their hands.

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