I’ll start with a little background on what prompted this post. Yesterday was an especially frustrating day at work. It wasn’t so much that there was any terrible thing that happened, but it was more of the same little frustrating things. Yesterday hit some of my team members especially hard which in turn hit me hard since I’m the project manager. In reality, it’s not really any different, good or bad, than it was a few months ago, but these types of things are cumulative and at times exponential. I’ll come back to this later.
This got me thinking about how relatively little things in the past have added up to bigger things. If we look back to the events of April 19th, 1775, it could have just as easily been just another day in colonial America, but it wasn’t. Individually, the events of Lexington Green, the North Bridge, and Miriam’s Corner don’t add up to a revolution, but tensions had been building for the better part of a decade leading up to this. For years, the colonials had been dealing with and pushing back on the Intolerable Acts, and once the Regulars started the powder raids, it really kicked things up a notch. The key point here is that the events of April 19th add up to more than the sum of their parts because of all the relatively little things that preceded them.
This brings us to a question that is often asked but never answered. Where does that put us today? The truth is that we really don’t know. The colonials couldn’t have told you April 18th that tomorrow they would become Americans, and I can’t tell you today when things will change for us, but I believe that tensions are high and the powder keg is not far from being lit. Our version of the events of April 19th could be just around the corner, or it could be years away, but a relatively small chain of events could happen at any time. It could have been Ruby Ridge, Waco, or the Bundy Ranch, and it could just as easily be in my home state with the seemingly imminent passing of I-594.
My hope is that your take-away from this is that maybe we should sweat the small stuff a little more. I don’t mean you should stress about every little thing that happens, but you should be aware that those little things can add up to more than the sum of their parts. In your work life, remember that all the little things can add up be they good or bad. Saying hello to everyone and little complements can really make it a much more positive place just like the opposite is true. In the rest of your life, be just as aware of the small things because you never know what the next Miriam’s Corner is going to be. Stay vigilant and maybe sweat the little stuff a little bit more.