One day, in a very timely manner, the following message came across my desk:
Think not lightly of good, saying, "It will not come to me."Drop by drop is the water pot filled.Likewise, the wise man, gathering it little by little,fills himself with good.
– Dhammapada 122 –
It's a promise. It's also a message of hope and faith and optimism and patience.
It promises that things can get better even if we don't notice them at the time. And it suggests that we don't have to leap tall buildings to have it happen.
Little things, day after day, add up.
Twenty-five years after planting a sapling, we may look out our window and be surprised to discover the sapling has become a full-grown maple tree. Over the years, little by little, it has taken what it needed to thrive. The changes happened gradually, but that sapling continued to grow steadily. In the same way, we can gather good, "little by little".
Little things done often really add up. For example:
- Catching a grumpy thought and changing it to a grateful one.
- Spending a bit more time with people who are kind, and bit less with those who are not.
- Saying grace at mealtime and really feeling thankful.
- Listening to the birds.
Each little change brings about its own reward. These little changes are like simple pleasures they can be satisfying in and of themselves. Yet they add up, too. Drop by drop our lives change until one day, we look up and see that life is good.