There is an episode on one of my son’s favorite TV shows, Jay Jay the Jet Plane where Herkie, the Helicopter has to perform a good deed in order to earn a Merit Badge. Herkie spends the entire show attempting to perform a remarkable, heroic deed, only to fail time and again.
Finally, Herkie gives up, sure he will never be good enough to win the badge. However, at the end of the show, he is surprised to find he has earned the award after all by doing a small act he had felt was so insignificant he hadn’t even considered it a good deed.
As my pregnancy has progressed, I’ve had more and more trouble sleeping, despite the fact that I’m dead tired most of the time. People have suggested I get a pregnancy pillow to help me find a comfortable position, but all of the pillows I saw were so expensive they didn’t seem worth it for a few months relief.
Finally, I spotted a pillow on the internet where the price was right – $10 even I was willing to try something for that!
When the pillow arrived, I was, frankly, underwhelmed. It looked exactly like a blue wedge of cheese, and it left me wondering how such an insignificant product could be any help at all.
But, far be it for me to waste $10, so I diligently took my slice of cheese to bed with me, jamming it under my belly as instructed on the box.
What a pleasant surprise! Just that small change made all the difference in the world to my sleep comfort. And, the Cheese’s (as I’ve taken to call it) small size proved to be an asset as well, as it easily fit into my suitcase on a recent trip.
I’m sure that by now you are wondering what Herkie the Helicopter and my Cheese have in common. Well, I’ll tell you! So often in my life, I’ve felt like Herkie, needing to perform a big awesome act in order to make a difference. And, since heroic acts are few and far between in this world, it is easy for me to start to feel pretty insignificant and useless.
In reality, we all have much more of an opportunity to be like the Cheese making a small difference here and there that we may not even notice, but others appreciate tremendously.
It’s easy to lose track of all that we can do to make a difference, because so much of it we do without thinking as part of our daily lives. But it is reassuring to remember that those little acts of kindness we do automatically really make a huge impact in the long run. As Sally Koch reminds us Great opportunities to help others seldom come, but small ones surround us every day.
So, today, I encourage you to celebrate all the little things you do every day and to remember that, in the long run, even Herkie learned that it’s better to stop looking for the big things and to just be the Cheese instead.
By Sue Dickinson