It’s the little things citizens do. That’s what will make the difference. My little thing is planting trees.
Now, planting trees was hardly a “little thing” for Wangari Maathai. She won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for her work on behalf of the environment and on behalf of human rights. With the Green Belt Movement, she assisted women in planting over 20 million trees. Her full biography is here, at Nobelprize.org.
Still, her words reminded me of what an impact small things can have. I believe that lives of great and public heroism and leadership are wonderful and amazing. But I also see value in the accumulation of little things – small acts of kindness and responsibility woven into our daily lives. As Eleanor Roosevelt said,
Where, after all, do human rights begin? In small places, close to home – so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any map of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person: the neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm, or office where he works. such are the places where every man, woman, and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, and equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere.
What are some of the little things you do? What small acts of kindness have made your own life better?