Small Things of Great Importance

Anndrea Scroggins

When we dream, we dream big. We sit on the couch pondering what would make us happy, wishing that we could have a bigger house, different food, different shows, or a huge garden in our backyard. Our daydreams can be extravagant. Because of this, we may fail to realize that small things can make someone’s day — even our own!

When you go overseas, kindness can be a super power. It makes people feel more comfortable and it doesn’t have to be anything extraordinary. Smiling is a universal language. A genuine grin and “hello” break down walls. Students will feel more comfortable when you greet them and it might be what they remember most about you. That’s a good thing. It means they felt seen.

If your teammate is having a bad day, a simple act of care such as listening instead of speaking or buying their next treat can go a long way to making their day — or even their whole trip! During a taxi ride in Southeast Asia with one of my teammates, she spoke just the right words after listening to me vent. I have never forgotten them. It was just a simple sentence, but it helped change my life.

The small things are often the first to go overlooked.

We stop saying “hello.” We stare into our coffee cups when we’re tired instead of making eye contact. We are too uncomfortable to smile. Instead of looking up and interacting with those around us, we put our head down and try our best to get through the day. Be careful. Protect the little things you do. They are very important, especially when things are hard. It’s not easy to be away from home, but stay consistent in serving others through little acts of kindness. It will be worth it.