Ah! How important are little things? The unnoticed things are the life-blood of the world. In a great palace, we think of the marble and the stone, the cedar, and the iron, but who thinks of the mortar and the nails? And yet, in the architecture, mortar and nails are as important as pillars and columns and beams.
Thus in the architecture of the world, and in the conduct of its moral affairs, trifles are the mortar and the nails.
Real success in self-government is not the waiting for some special occasion to exert ourselves, but doing the best that can be done in the circumstances of everyday life.
Little things are a better test of character than great things. They come every day; great things do not. The world turns on small hinges, but for great things, we brace ourselves up and make exceptional efforts. Little things deal with reality, without any show; and what we call “little things” are often much greater than what we call the great ones, and therefore have much larger consequences. Attend to the little things, and we need not be anxious about the greater ones.
Small things direct our life.
A ship is a large object. It seems to be unmanageable by its vastness, and it is also impelled by driving storms. How great some ships are! What holds the mighty anchor which holds the ship in a storm? A cable. And what is a cable made of? Ropes coiled over ropes, and every rope made out of little threads. So it is with the habits of life, good or bad; here a little and there a little, as trifling as they seemed at first, they become at last such mighty and unconquerable affairs.
Small things build us.
How do humans grow? Of body, mind, heart, and character. Is it not by little and little the frame grows from its first beginning? Take them after birth. See how they grow by repetitions of natural processes — constant repetitions. A little sleep, a little food, a little exercise. Over again, a little sleep, a little food, a little exercise. And again, a little sleep, and so on. A breath. A word. Life consists of small things repeated. That’s all.
Great things are made up of little things.
The highest mountain of grains of dust. Pacific of drops of water. Year of 31,536,000 seconds. Deepest snow-fall came down one flake at a time.
Great things depend on little ones. Every day a little knowledge. One fact in a day. How small is one fact! Only one. Ten years pass by. Three thousand six hundred and fifty facts are not a small thing.
Great events start with small things.
We will remember in English history that Parliament resolved to put a duty on the tea received into the American ports. It was a little thing to do, but its result was the freedom of America from the yoke of England and the formation of the United States. Falling of apple from tree insignificant enough; yet led to the discovery of the law of gravitation.
Small things are often more dangerous than big things, for they can get in through small openings.
A small leak may sink a great ship, and a trifling escape of gas, if neglected, may blow up your house. A little outburst of temper. Little provocation. Words and acts out of anger destroy many a family and relations.
1. Trifles make perfection, and perfection is no trifle.
2. To despise little things is to show oneself utterly ignorant of the philosophy of life.
3. It is only man’s littleness which discovers no importance in trifles.
4. The little present is great because its littleness is the parent of the great future.
5. To do a small thing well is the best proof of ability to do what is great.
6. We perish by what is little. Little negligence, little laziness, a little delay.
7. Perfection in anything cannot be secured without attention to details, and great issues often hinge on apparently very trifling affair.
8. Small decisions, small steps, small gestures. Small kindnesses. They aren’t small.
9. Every little thing we do leads to a bigger thing.
10. Great things are not done by impulse but by a series of small things brought together.
“A car with a small hole in its fuel tank unattended to shall see its fuel draining little by little and it shall only be left in the middle of a long journey! So is life! Mind the small things!”
― Ernest Agyemang Yeboah