“Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do.” ~ Marianne Williamson
Today, I watched from my window as a group of boys raced back and forth. Behind them, and trying desperately to keep up the pace, was a younger boy—maybe just six years old.
“Go away,” they shouted. “You’re too little to play with us.”
And then I watched, as the littlest of the boys…hung his head sadly and walked away.
So, I stepped outside and called him near, as I could tell that he needed a smile.
“Come here,” I called out. “And now, tell me…just what is this awfully big matter?”
“I’m too small,” he sniffled through his tears.
Oh, how I remember that feeling of always being too ‘so very small.’ Chasing my big brother and all of his friends perilously through those thick woods. I wanted so very much to be part of their much bigger group—to laugh and to play. But always, and inevitably, they would ‘shoosh’ me away.
“You’re too small.” they would shout. “Go home, we don’t want you around!”
Sometimes, the earliest of lessons are the ones that stick with us the longest. Because, I will never forget that feeling of being so very small. I suppose, that’s why it is that I’m always on the lookout for little ones being pushed away.
“Come here,” I said. “Let me show you a little something. Do you see those trees, how they move? And how the birds, they’re way up their looking down at you. And, the wind? Can, you feel the wind against your cheek? Oh, and how about that sun way up over there? Close your eyes, and tell me…can you feel the sun’s light shining down on you?”
“Yes,” he sniffled, as he scrunched up his eyes and turned his face towards the sky.
“Well,” I whispered secretly to him, “all of that is the Universe—and you’re a big part of that, too. Everything that is, and everything that was…and everything that will ever be, it’s all a part of you. And, all that stuff you feel inside of your heart? That’s a little piece of it within you. So, you see…with all of this great big Universe inside and around you, you are not so very small, at all.”
And, though—at six years old, I’m not sure just how very much of these words may have settled in. I could tell, at least, as he looked up at the sky—that he felt just a little ‘bigger’ that day.
We all feel small, sometimes.
And, there will always be something much bigger than our own hearts, and with the capacity to completely humble our souls.
In life, there will always be challenges. And, there will be times when we face what may seem to be insurmountable odds.
But know this—nothing is ever too big, and we are never too small.
So, shine on and shine through—because, after all, the Universe is within you.
And always remember, no matter how hopeless the odds—even a hummingbird can put out a forest fire.
In this beautifully animated clip from Dirt! The Movie, Wangari Maathai tells an inspiring tale of doing the best you can under seemingly interminable odds. ~ DirtTheMovie
“Be the Hummingbird”
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Ed: Kate Bartolotta