Jane Schmidt

Columnist Jane Schmidt believes that instead of seeking the grand, it is instead the granular that makes the difference in our lives. 

I have seen it posted that when this COVID-19 cloud lifts from our land, it won’t be the importance of those we previously considered to be grand citizens - celebrities or politicians or athletes - that will warrant our admiration. Rather what really will warrant our admiration are those granular citizens -  grocery clerks and health care workers and truckers. It will be simple acts of kindness that will bring a smile to our face and remind us it is not the grand but the granular that makes a difference in this world.

It will be those that dusted off their sewing machines and began using scraps of material and assorted hair ties to fashion masks for others. It will be those who donated blood or delivered meals to senior citizens. It will be those who stocked our store’s shelves or brought our mail or delivered our packages  - connecting us with and reminding us that there is indeed a world out there.

The granular will be those who patiently delivered online lessons of love and diligently prepared packets to keep learning alive. Parents who were not only caretakers but teachers. It will be those who added to the little libraries in a community or who left chalk messages of inspiration for neighbors.  It will be those who delivered sweets or loaves of bread, leaving them on doorsteps of family members or neighbors or friends.  It will be those who shared their talents via social media with read alouds or songs or jokes or photo challenges. 

When this cloud lifts, we will long remember Zoom meetings, phone calls, messages sent by snail mail or left on doorsteps; those simple items that remind us that it is not the grand that matters but rather the granular – those tiny pieces that add to and create the fabric of life. Isn’t that just the lesson we can learn from this pause in the “busyness” of our lives? A time in our lives where things have been turned upside down and right side out. Where what we thought we could not live without actually is what we did not really need all along.  Instead of seeking the grand, it is instead the granular that makes the difference in our lives.  And instead of the world being complex, it is instead very simple.  It is us who insist on making life more grand than it needs to be when in reality the only thing that truly matters is the granular – those small pieces, those simple acts that paint this grand picture called life.