When my daughter was very young she wanted to check a book out of her school library. I can’t for the life of me remember the name of it now, but it was from a popular series of the time and had well over three hundred pages. Her school teacher told her it was probably not a good idea because the book was so much higher than her reading level. She felt so defeated because she really wanted to read it. I gave her the advice my mother used to give me when faced with a seemingly insurmountable problem:
“How did the man climb the tallest mountain in the world? One step at a time. You can read this book because you will read it one word at a time.”
My daughter did read the book after we checked it out of the public library and with each word she felt such great joy.
The same is true for us when we look at all the good we could be doing in the world. We become paralyzed by the enormity of the problem before us and think that we cannot do anything. We have to think about it in a different way.
St. Teresa of Calcutta used to say “I cannot do great things, but I can do small things with great joy.” If you know anything about her life you know all of the good she did in the world. If we take the larger problem and break it down into smaller tasks we can begin to tackle the smaller tasks. Each small task we accomplish with great joy will bring us closer to the goal of tackling the greater problem.
What I am trying to say is if we all were willing to do the small good things we are capable of doing with great joy just think how quickly the world’s insurmountable problems would begin to disappear; one small step at a time.