Insignificant Significance-

The Key to the Great is the Small

A crow, near death with thirst, found a pitcher which was half full of water.  But when the Crow put its beak into the mouth of the pitcher he found that the water was just below the level that he could reach.  He tried and he tried but at last he had to give up in despair and thirst.  Then a thought came to him.  He took a pebble and dropped it into the pitcher.  Then he took another pebble and dropped it into the pitcher.  And then he took another and another and another when at last he saw the water mount up close enough to him that he could reach it.  He was able to quench his thirst and save his life because he did little by little that which was essential to saving his life.

Sometimes it is the severity of our thirst that can cause us to overlook the trickle of life-sustaining water when we are looking for the spring.  Great things do not always start out as great things.  They are only great to those of us who would prize them as great.  You don’t have to look beyond your own self to find instances where you and others like you have overlooked small seemingly insignificant things while looking for that important thing.  Circumstances have a way of making that which is seemingly insignificant the thing most significant to your plans.  

Be careful that your objectives are not so great that you need a great thing to achieve them.  Success if most often founded in and by the people who pay attention to the little things that are along the way.  A giant leap starts with a small push.  You should purpose never to make problems of your problems.  Those who do this tend to work on the wrong solution to the wrong thing at the wrong time in the wrong way and in the wrong place.

The work you are asked to do; the person you are needed to be; the role you are asked to play are never as insignificant as the circumstances of life which will give you opportunity to rise above in significance.  If you want to stand out as a pearl in a bucket of pebbles learn to:

  • Do well the little things others do not do at all;
  • Reject your own marginal efforts before they are rejected by others;
  • Inspect what you expect of yourself;  measure the effectiveness of the things you do before you finish what you do;
  • Don’t think so big that you trip over the pebbles that are the solution to your problems and;
  • Learn that real significance is determined by what you do with a thing when it is in your hands.

Never underestimate the importance of the things that seemingly are insignificant to the big deal.  Circumstances have a way of bringing the importance of all things to light.  For want of a nail, a shoe was lost; for want of a shoe, the horse could not be ridden; for want of a horse the soldier had no transportation; for lack of transportation a message was not delivered; because a message was not delivered a battle was fought; and because an unwanted battle was fought a nation was lost.  All this happened for the want of a single nail. 

Insignificant significance – the key to the great is often found in the small.