29 March 2011

Quote of the day: "Kind of a big deal"

On his blog "The Art of Non-Conformity", Chris Guillebeau says:
When we falsely compare ourselves to others, we needlessly belittle our accomplishments. We also give weight to the wrong idea that venturing out of our comfort zone is “no big deal” or that small successes are “overrated.”
He starts the last paragraph with the line:
Never despise small beginnings, and don’t belittle your own accomplishments.
This reminds me of my literature professor in college. He told us not to put ourselves down because there are so many naysayers and people out in the world who will do plenty of putting down for us.

We might not all invent general relativity, but as a friend told me, if we look over a long enough time period, the small things we do influence a statistically significant number of people. A more eloquent way of saying this, from the last sentence in Middlemarch by George Eliot:
For the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.

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