The Small Things Matter

The Small Things Matter

Photo by Satyawan Narinedhat on Unsplash

Growing up in Kano, we lived in a room and parlour in a very big compound that had over 20 units. During this formative period of my life, the concept of sharing things was inculcated in us. Whatever was in your kitchen was shared with other neighbours and we cooked for each other to eat.   The discipline of children was not left to the parent alone. Should my mum not be around and I do something bad, any parent in the compound had a right to correct my wrongdoing, should you make the mistake to go and report when your parents return home, you will receive double beating but the parent that disciplined you will let your parents know they flogged you for – A or B issue. 

This culture of sharing and child upbringing – the idea that training a child is a collective responsibility of community member – really helped me to become the person I am today. While I was growing up, it was also part of the culture that when you eat among people that you invited them to join you. I mean sincerely join you and eat should they choose to not the current culture of just inviting people to come and eat with you when in your heart you don’t truly want them to share in your meal.

 I was reminded of this culture of sharing this week when I entered a car where the memory was rekindled.  There were five of us in the car that evening with each person returning home from their various places of work/activities. In the middle sat a kind woman who had just returned from her business of selling fura and nono (a delicacy of mine).  She had a bottle left and once she brought it out to drink, she turned to each person and said Bismillah (“in the name of God”) with a sincere look that said please share in this meal with me. We all thanked her for the gesture and allowed her to enjoy the meal. 

A very small gesture you may think, however, it’s the small gestures often that makes a difference.  We can sometimes fall into the trap of thinking that until I make a certain amount or reach a particular level before I can start helping people. No, don’t wait, we can each make a difference with the little we have right now in little ways as often as possible.

  While it may seem small, the ripple effects of small things are extraordinary.”

— Matt Bevin

In what little ways can you make life better for your friends, family, colleges and even strangers? Think about it and every day seek out an opportunity to do the small things for others that you may never know made a difference but has blessed them.  It’s the little things that often matter the most.  Will you share your meal with others? Can you pay the fare for someone that cannot afford? Will you go out of your way to buy that meal that a close friend craves? Can you join a fundraising effort for a worthy cause? What little thing can you do to make you family, community, state, country, continent and the world a better place? Do not despise the little ways you make a difference for as Matt says, it may seem small, the ripple effects of small things are extraordinary.


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