Smallness - 支遁 - Zhī dùn
You may be capable of great deeds,
but don't forget
that life consists
of small things.
~inspired by Deng Ming-Dao
Big things seldom come along in life. One should be able to know the small and seemingly meaningless, as well as the momentous. We all yearn to make a lasting impression upon the world. We all wish to achieve great things, to be heroic, but life seldom affords such opportunities. Most days consist of ordinary tasks - the uneventful meditations, the everyday cooking of one's meals, the obligatory trek to work. When you return late in the day and sit in the garden, listening to the crickets, your day is nearly complete, but lacking in extraordinary substance. It is from these small experiences, however, that the larger events in life are composed.
We are rarely accorded the chance to make grand gestures. The Olympic champions greatest moment is but a blink of an eye, compared to the lifetime of training and preparation. The works of great artists are viewed but a short time, in comparison to the length of the creative process. The masterful musician's best composition is but one piece of drifting melody in a sea of musical harmonies. If we wish to be successful in life, it is the small events towards which we must pay the closest attention.
Do not fall into the trap of waiting so long for the big things to fall, that numerous, unrecognizable small chances slip through your grasp. People who do this are waiting for life to achieve perfection. They complain that Fate conspires against them, that the world does not recognize their greatness. If they would simply lower their lofty expectations, they would see whole spectrum of opportunity swirling before their eyes. By humbling themselves, to bend to the earth, they scoop up untold riches with which to carry on.