Back in 2007, I told my then manager at IBM, Dorian Birsan, in one of my 1–1’s, that I really wanted to be ‘very very successful.’ He asked me, ‘What does success mean to you?’ After some more discussion, he suggested that I should read the book ‘The Tipping Point’ and gave me the gist of the book’s message.
The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
…Just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a small but precisely targeted push cause a fashion trend, the popularity of a new product, or a drop in the crime rate.
Although, I purchased the book right away, but its fate has not been much different than many other books in my library; where they generally become a collectible after I have flipped through the first few pages. So, even though I never completely read the book, its core-message has still stayed with me.
In essence, the book emphasizes how things that we may deem trivial, can become the driving force in no-time, to shift the world around us.
There has been no better time, than that of Covid-19, for us to understand the significance of the small things in our lives.
First and foremost, the very fact that a microscopic, invisible force can take over the entire world is a clear example of the very essence of this idea. However, another perspective that this time-period is showing us is the importance and value of the many small things, that we have been taking for granted for a while.
Many of us are waking up to some form of pessimism in this particularly challenging time of Covid-19.
One strategy to combat the negativity in the external world is to focus on the importance of the molecular things in our lives. It is to constantly remind ourselves that it is not even the small things, but rather the tiny things, that are at the epicenter of our existence.
In the book of faith, the Holy Quran, that I follow, there is a very inspirational verse that exactly reflects this message:
Surely Allah does not shy away from using the parable of a mosquito or what is even smaller.
The point is that when it comes down to it, even the power of an insect should not be underestimated or mocked upon.
As we are trying to navigate our days through these unprecedented times, I constantly try to remind myself of these ‘tiny’ things in my life. If God-forbid, any one of these things went out of sync, then no material object or force would be able to put it back together.
Here are a few of these things that are tiny, yet very significant in this time, for all of us to be grateful for:
One may wake up depressed that it is yet another day. Same routine, same issues, nothing good in the outside world, etc., etc. However, what we miss in this entire complaint chatter is that ‘our cells are multiplying inside our bodies, without any effort on our part.’
Those of us who have known or seen Cancer patients in our lives can relate to it. The mere fact that one’s cells are dividing normally, is a multi-trillion$ wealth, that we are waking up to each day.
This index is not reflected in the stock market and other news. When we open our BBC and CNN apps, the first thing in the morning, they are not telling us that ‘your cells are still dividing.’ We have to make a conscious effort to give this reminder to ourselves every single day.
- The Basics of Life:
Can anyone of us imagine what this pandemic would be like, if this virus transmitted through other mediums such as the oceans and other energy networks? The mere fact that it is not, should not be trivialized.
The very idea that our water and energy resources are intact and that we are not getting infected by drinking water, is something that is ‘not’ reinforced through our media. Consequently, we are not able to recognize the value of what it means to have the ‘Basics of Life’ intact.
- The Rural Mode of Life:
The majority of us have scaled back our existences to the very primitive modes of life, that we used to once live, or that some of us have never experienced before.
When I walk in my neighborhood these days, I make an attempt to observe and meditate on the smallest of the plants and the trees. I have been meaning to write one of my blogs on ‘Zooming-In’, to describe the new things that I am discovering each day in the same locality.
In normal times, many of us would not even recognize the beauty of things that we are surrounded by, while we would always be aiming to run away from where we are.
Similarly, we are reconnecting with our loved ones in ways that we never did in our urban-pressured lives. Not knowing for how long will we or our loved ones be around, is making us all realize the importance of every single moment and interaction.
‘Covid19-Era’ like everything else in life can be seen as a “Blessing in Disguise.”
Although, no one wants to be in this era, but yet once we (hopefully) get out of the woods, we will miss the tiny interactions that we experienced and the connections that we made.
So, while we are stuck in this zone, let’s value the small things around us a tiny bit-more.
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