community, spiritual life

Tiny acts of defiance

“We know only too well that what we are doing is nothing more than a drop in the ocean. But if the drop were not there, the ocean would be missing something.” Mother Teresa, Christian, despair-defying firebrand

Having aged past the point of believing I can change the world, I content myself with tiny acts of defiance. Not against a person or a system — but small, daily arrows of defiance aimed straight at the despair and hopelessness today’s world is so terribly good at generating.

It’s rather satisfying. Try it, and I think you’ll agree.

Write a thank you note. Smile at a teenager, an old man with a cane, a young person working hard for not enough money. Do something for free. Show up with pie. Fraternize with a lonely dog stuck behind a fence. Wear fire-engine red on a dreary day. Grow flowers. Put the biggest, orangest pumpkin you can find next to your front door come fall. Pack your groceries into canvas bags. Pray.

That last one is particularly important. Is there anything more defiant in a darkening world than to pray?

So, let us go out there and live with hope and joy and defiance. Perhaps we actually can change the world.

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