No Such Thing As An Inconsequential Act

Posted by Birju Pandya on Apr 25, 2010
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At the Skoll World Forum last week, the keynote address was given by Paul Hawken, whose perspective on the human relationship to environment has shaped our culture.  In this talk, he choose to focus on the value of small acts.  He gave the example of an unknown person in South Africa who handed 'Civil Disobediance' to Gandhi, causing him to change his stance and indeed his life going forward.  The point, as he put it, was that there was 'no such thing as an inconsequential act' - what's most important is to DO WORK PURELY and TRUST that authentically following the process of service will create the results that are necessary (even if we aren't the ones that receive credit for it).

As I reflected on that point, I thought of the intentional focus on small acts by CharityFocus.  It is difficult sometimes to believe the immmeasurable RELEVANCE of something as simple as a smile, or a sharing story, or an hour spent volunteering.  This is why the trust that Paul mentioned so resonated with me - to see the fruit of an action at a micro-level (the internal change that comes from small acts) and trust that such results scale to city, country, world.  I am grateful for all the brothers and sisters who continue to put that intention into action.

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  • Aditi wrote ...

    One of my favourite thing about charity focus is the focus on small and frequent (acts of kindness).  I think that's what makes it as powerful as it.  Small means it becomes something you can easily adopt and can keep doing (and therefore make a way of life) and frequent means it becomes a way of life through repetition.  I think that's also what makes it possible for so many ripples.