I follow a young couple on twitter. The young man (23 or 24) has cancer.
This is a sad sad thing. Of course it is.
As they battle this cancer and navigate the hospitals and the hazards of doctors and medicine, they have reminded me so deeply that the small things are what make life most worthy.
They find cheer and hope and happiness in the most mundane moments.
The grand battles and big enemies, they are epic. They are bigger than any of us can fix or overcome. But none of us are fighting the grand battle. We are all of us living in the small moments.
Joy still comes is in quiet moment of enjoying a good dinner with friends.
The unbearable horror can be dealing with traffic on your way home from cancer treatment.
Empathy carries us another step when a shopkeeper who notices his usually cheerful customer is quiet and sad while she chooses her veggies and asks what is wrong.
Exhaustion is created by battling an unfair library fine.
Sudden energy comes from one person who steps out of the bureaucracy and provides needed guidance and information.
Those small moments are the moments we experience. They are things that define how we feel.
But we all think the epic struggle of cancer or war or starvation is the thing. Some large monstrous thing we cannot possibly grapple with.
Life is not the big epic battles. Its the tiny moments of struggle and triumph, of kindness or disdain that really define our lives and even direct our epic battles.
Those daily moments are not outside the realm of anyone to change. We cannot change the course of cancer as ordinary individuals. But we can touch the person who is struggling. We can mean something to the person in front of us. And how we deal with each other is how each of us experiences the epic struggles of our life.
We can’t fix everything. But we can change the course of the moment that sits in front of us. And sometimes that extra moment of effort means an unfathomable amount to the other person in the moment. You may never know it. But perhaps we should all act as though it does.