Did you know that each honey bee will make about one and a half teaspoons of honey in its lifetime? Did you know that honey bees will fly approximately 50,000 miles and visit about 2,000,000 flowers to make just one pound of honey? That is a surprising number of bees and work to produce just a little honey!
I am reminded of a story. A person was walking along a beech after a storm and noticed thousands of starfish that we stranded on the sand. Another person came by and noticed that the first person was throwing them one by one back into the ocean. He asked, “What difference can you make to those starfish? There must be thousands of them!” The first person said as he threw another starfish into the ocean, “It makes a difference to this one.”
There is another story that applies. In China a woman brought her ailing child to a clinic. When asked where she was from, she pointed to a mountains, and said she had travelled from the other side of the mountains. The surprised doctor said that must have been hundreds of miles and how did she come such a long distance. The answer was simple, one step at a time. “A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”
Sometimes when we look at our ailing and dysfunctional world, we get discouraged because there is so much to do. The work seems overwhelming and undoable. We ask ourselves what we can do and will it even make a difference. Saint Mother Theresa of Calcutta has an answer for that. She said that most of us are not called to do great things, however all of us are called to do little things with great love. Obviously, she could not care for all the poor and dying in the streets of Calcutta, but she could help them one at a time. Eventually her efforts grew into a worldwide movement to care for the poor. One act of kindness at a time.
The Christophers, a catholic organization, has as its motto, “It is better to light just one little candle than to stumble in the dark. If everyone lit just one little candle, what a bright world this would be.” Jesus said that the smallest act of kindness, giving a cup of water to a thirsty person, would not be forgotten. I like the ethic of the Boy Scouts to do a good deed every day.
Some of us will do great things. Most of us will do little things over and over and it will seem that nothing changes. It might take a lot of us, but if each of us does little things with great love, even if that little thing is to pray for each other, eventually great things will happen.
One bee searching for flowers, one person throwing back starfish, one nun assisting a dying Indian, one person doing a good deed, and one person praying may not seem like much, but it can change everything. If you want a more loving world, bee-come more loving. It starts with you and me as we “do little things with great love.” I think it time for me to fold the laundry and do the dishes.
“May the Lord bless and keep you. May He let His face shine upon you and give you His peace.”