Robert Brault has a quote about the little things being the big things, but I prefer to call the little things intangible things. The quote: “Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.”
Slavoj Žižek has a quote about the Absolute. He calls it the Absolute, but I would simply call it the Intangible. The quote: “What is the Absolute? Something that appears to us in fleeting experiences — say, through the gentle smile of a beautiful woman, or even through the warm caring smile of a person who may otherwise seem ugly and rude. In such miraculous but extremely fragile moments, another dimension transpires through our reality. As such, the Absolute is easily corroded; it slips all too easily through our fingers and must be handled as carefully as a butterfly.”
This week, well, really the last few weeks, things have been moving fast. Lots arising, lots coming to the surface, lots demanding to be seen, demanding to be heard — life requesting that things change quickly, very quickly.
And while so much is happening, what stands out most is what means the most to me. Hearing “I believe in you” or “Love you” or “Thank you” or “You make me happy” or “How can I help” or “You’re my good friend” — all said at different times, by different people — all so rich & rewarding in the moment. The words were felt deeply & were deeply appreciated. Generous words that were precious, priceless, & irreplaceable. More meaningful than the context in which they were said in. More meaningful than the circumstances in which they happened in. Just little things that were spontaneously offered. But they aren’t things at all are they? How can they be ‘little’ if they aren’t truly measurable or quantifiable?
If I look at what made those intangible words, those little things, those spontaneous brief moments so impactful for me; if I look at what made them feel so good & resonate so deeply — it’s connection. There was no guarding, no barrier, no withholding; there was only openness, generosity & humility. And in that vulnerability & innocence, is the opportunity to connect on a deeper level.
If I playback in my mind, all of the past experiences or little things in my life that truly had an impact — none of them were tangible. No car, no house, no sense of security; nothing I can put my finger on & say “I have it! This is it!” They were all part of some fleeting moment. And they were all based on some sort of connection.
The wind ticking my skin or playing with my hair; a child sitting on my knee or giving me a hug; feeling autumn leaves fall on my head; seeing my mother’s face & feeling so happy that I get a chance to be near her; a dog raising his paw & placing it in my hand; biting a fruit while its seeds squirt out of the other side; being able to say “I love you” over & over & over, & each time it feels different, each time it feels new. With all of these things or moments, there is a oneness, an appreciation, a bond. This bond or connection can be with anything or anyone — even with oneself. It is simply a feeling of wholeness. And when it happens, it feels like enough. I am enough, they are enough, this moment is enough.
There are so many quotes that touch on this topic. All of them are unique & unmeasurable — just like each intangible moment that matters greatly.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge: “The happiness of life is made up of minute fractions — the little soon forgotten charities of a kiss or smile, a kind look, a heartfelt compliment, and the countless infinitesimal of pleasurable and genial feeling.”
Lao-Tzu: “All difficult things have their origin in that which is easy, and great things in that which is small.”
Laura Ingalls Wilder: “I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all.”
Arthur Conan Doyle: “It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.”