I received an early birthday present this week.
On Monday morning a work mate of mine came and presented me with the gift pictured below.
Those who watch the cartoon Adventure Time will recognise this sour faced character straight away, but for those who don’t; this is Lemon Grab —
I know this might not seem like much of a gift, and I know it’s just a toy from a “Maccies” Happy Meal; but I was over-the-moon to receive this. Not only because I’ve been coveting this particular toy since I first discovered that they were available, but also because it showed that this particular work mate had paid attention to all of the conversations we’ve had together over the past year — conversations which were rich in dialogue about our favourite T.V shows and films, drenched in fan theory, and full of confessions about me taking my children to get a Happy Meal with the sole purpose of getting my hands on this elusive character (In case you’re wondering, we only managed to get our hands on Jake, Engagement Ring Princess, Flame Princess and Gunter — very disappointing 😦 ).
Why I am telling you this?
Because receiving this gift made me realise that the little things matter.
By “Little things”, I don’t necessarily mean the toy—but the consideration that this friend showed to the smaller details of our chats.
Sometimes, I can find myself thinking that it’s only in doing the BIG stuff that we can make any lasting difference in the lives of others. But maybe it’s doing the little stuff too that shows we care, that we’re present, that we’re invested and interested in the life of another? After all, life isn’t always full of the big stuff; but it’s always full of details. And even the bigger things in life are made up of smaller components.
So, I’ve found myself thinking this week—
Do I pay attention to the lives of those around me?
Am I only focussed on the bigger picture of their worlds, or do I zoom in and perceive the finer details that make up their stories?
Is there something “little” that I can do that would show them that they matter?
Maybe only paying attention on the bigger stuff, the things I can perceive from afar, is my way of keeping distant; my excuse to not get close and authentically connect? If this is the case, then — to use the words of Lemon Grab — this is unacceptable!
So, to my buddy Sam, thank you– you taught me something this week! 🙂
“The answer was too simple and I was too smart to see it” – Princess Bubblegum, from Adventure Time
Tristan Sherwin is the author of Love: Expressed