Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Big & Important

As many people know, my wife and I just completed a run of It's a Wonderful Life. One of my lines as George that has hit home for me is, "I want to do something big, something important." This is something I've thought many a time.

The point of the story is that the little things really are the important things in life. You can make a huge difference in "a business of nickels and dimes."

As a therapist, I know I have the opportunity to do important things. Big things for some people. Yet I still have a longing to do something "big."

Obviously "something big" is a very relative idea. Yet in my mind, being a therapist is not something "big." It is something small, but important.

It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes, which is at the top of every page on this blog. It is from Mother Teresa, saying, "We can do no great things; only small things with great love."

I'm finding that to be more and more true. In many ways, "big things" and "important things" are sometimes mutually exclusive. The big things I can think of are often considered important, but really aren't (take most of Hollywood for example). And most important things really aren't that big (like being a parent, a spouse, etc.).

Although this, too, depends on our definition of "important." For me, it's making a clear difference in someone's life--changing it. However, anything a person can do can be quite important (the world wouldn't operate if the "mundane" things weren't done).

I came into the field of psychology because it was more important for me to do something that would make an important difference in someone's life than do something "big." Yet the urge for the latter is still there. Perhaps because it seems as a society, we think big is important and small is unimportant. It's hard to challenge that idea.

Maybe what we need to do (me included) is challenge our definitions of both big and important...

1 comment:

  1. I am moved by your words, to think for me, I need to change a few letters...rather than BIG I will try to do something Bold (for me);something I have been a tad reticient to try but have yearned to take the risks involved.Rather than IMPORTANT I will think of something that will have a true Impact!

    So, I have taken your suggestion that we challenge our definitions of what is big and important. Though I may have to sleep on it, I am trying to look at what I have done yet am missing some things and I believe my heart is saying I have played well but too safely, so try something less safe and BOLD! I have done, I believe important things but I would like to really make an IMPACT.

    I do not need to be financially wealthy (would be nice....;)

    Thanks for your challenge and hope my personal change of a few letters to fit my past and need for a way to motivate myself into an even better future is good.


    PS Congratulations on your success in It's A Wonderful Life



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