Witnessing Small in a Big World: Phase One

Phase One: Baby Steps

In the movie “What About Bob?” Bob Riley (played by Bill Murray) meets his new therapist, Dr. Leo Marvin (played by Richard Dreyfuss).  Bob is paralyzed with every type of psychosis you can imagine, so Dr. Marvin gives him a copy of his book ‘Baby Steps’ to help him narrow down and focus his energies in smaller directions.  Instead of thinking about getting home, Dr. Marvin suggests he think about getting to the door, then the hall, then the elevator, etc.

I really liked this part of the movie.  I had an “AHA!” moment when I watched that scene.  With this same application, we can accomplish anything.  How many times are we overwhelmed by the sheer enormity of a difficulty facing us?  Taking a baby step at a time will allow us to keep moving to resolution.

I’m adapting this notion to this work.  I like it and it makes me comfy.  Hopefully, it will make you feel that way, too.

Witnessing Small in a Big World Tip #1: If it makes you happy to smile, smile! You never know who may find Grace in your Grin!

Even though scientists disagree about how many muscles it takes to smile versus frown, I would submit that it takes very little to smile.  When you smile or frown, it is an outward representation about where you are in your life.  Someone who frowns is perceived to be more unhappy than one who smiles.  Sometimes, though, even unhappy, when we smile, it just feels good!

And, along with yawning, smiling seems to be contagious.  Smile today and see who smiles back.  Your smile may be the only happy part of someone’s day and they may be inspired to pass it along.  Smile.

Witnessing Small in a Big World Tip #2: Open a door for someone today! It’s just a nice thing to do and bonus points if their hands are full of groceries!

When women decided that we can do anything men can do, this simple courtesy virtually disappeared overnight.  I believe we can find more evidence of Bigfoot than door opening these days.

When someone opens a door for me, I am thankful they didn’t let it slam in my face (an action I find EXTREMELY rude!).  I say “thank you,” and proceed through the door.  It doesn’t make me weak, wimpy, or incapable of making my own way in the world, it really just means that person opened a door for me and I went through it.

When I open a door for them, I am showing them that I recognize they are there and am extending a courtesy.  I was at the door first, I can certainly step aside and let them go through first.  It doesn’t mean I feel they are weak, wimpy, or incapable of making their own way in the world, it really just means I held open the door for them.

Witnessing Small in a Big World Tip #3: Don’t be afraid to say “I’ll pray for you,” when someone is facing difficulty. People appreciate it, even if they don’t believe in it. Tip#3b: Actually pray for them!

People today seem so afraid of saying those four little words.  I’m not trying to say “I’m going to beat you over the head with my religion whether you believe me or not!”  I’m really just saying “I am thinking about you and when I think of you, I say a prayer.  I don’t expect you to believe as I do, or even believe.  I just wanted you to know you mean a lot to me and I am concerned for you.”  Then, go pray.

Witnessing Small in a Big World Tip #4: Invite someone to join you in your activities. Either for dinner, a movie, a picnic, a walk, a potluck, or church service. If they say no, invite them until they do! People like feeling like they are wanted around.

[To be updated later]

Witnessing Small in a Big World Tip #5: Compliment someone today. Be sincere, be brief, be smiling. Remember, it’s not about you and your likes, it’s about them and sharing what a great person you find them to be.

[To be updated later]

Click here to see Phase Two: A Hop and a Skip


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