“Can’t argue with the little things. It is the little things that make up life.”  Hank Scorpio, supervilllain, renaissance man, philosopher and a genuine lover of life.   

I caught a break today, a huge break.   I was bailed out of a situation that has made the last two weeks torturous affecting both my birthday and the Fourth of July.  Only when the solution occurred, it was a little thing.  With a five minute phone call, an associate was able to rectify my mistake and give me that sense of relief that allowed me to think of something other than work for the first time in a while.

It was a little thing for him, but for me it was a little thing that mattered.  With a solution in hand by noon, it was hard to think of work.  I had done enough of that.  I had lay awake at night and woken up in the wee hours of the morning often enough, all on account of the big things and now with a quick “don’t worry about it, I got you,” I was able to put all that aside and step outside and not think of big things like contracts and wages.  Around 11:00 a.m., I left my office and to get some air not thinking on the big things for the first time in a while.

It hit me then.  It is summer.  The morning rain had cleared and everywhere people were enjoying themselves and perhaps I could do the same.  I breathed deeply and even the humidity was filled with joy.  I had not thought of the season which gives my life so much happiness. I had only thought of missing inventories, bills, money, invoices and having no one to turn to, which had been true of late, both in my professional life and the inner one.  Now around 11:00 in the morning those things left me and in the warm quiet air of a Devon Avenue parking lot, I started to think again on the little things.

Upon leaving work, I went to Dominick’s looking for something for dinner still thinking of the joy of the little things. I settled on picking up some brats and pulling up the recipe for currywurst on my phone to make sure I had the ingredients at home.

Currywurst is one of those little things.  In Germany it is a common fast food that is purchased and consumed with no thought.  It is simple to make and does not often give one any great amount of joy outside of the pleasure of filling the stomach.  For me, it is a different matter. It reminds me of being twelve and sitting on a rooftop in Worms and being in my forties and sitting on a rooftop in Lincoln Square and those were occasions of joy.  They were also little things, but “you can’t argue with the little things, it is the little that matter.”

Hank Scorpio is right.  It is the little things that matter.  Think about the greatest joys of life.  Think of your wife and recall the day you first met her.  It was probably on a beach or at an ice cream stand or wherever and you did not think it would lead to the altar that day.  Think about how many times you must have driven past the “for sale” sign of a simple home in the heat of the afternoon, not knowing that it would be there you would put notches on the doorframe to mark growing children.  Every big thing surely comes from what was once a little thing and not to be enamored with those moments is certainly a waste of thought and not to allow the possibility of something little becoming that which is so much greater…..well that is more than waste.

Without the little things there can be no big things.  I think about the most joyous moments of life and I know they are rooted in little things.  I also know every little thing that passes without appreciation of the moment may also be the death of a greater thing that is yet to be born.  Now with the currywurst finished except for some saved for tomorrow’s lunch and the city alive to me for the first time in a while I will think on the former rather than the later. It is, after all, the little things that count and it is best today to concentrate on the joy of the matter.

Image: “You Only Move Twice,” The Simpsons. This image is believed to be fair use.

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