Small Acts

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We don’t have to engage in grand, heroic
actions to participate in the process of change. Small acts, when
multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world. Even when we
don’t ‘win,’ there is fun and fulfillment in the fact that we have been
involved, with other good people, in something worthwhile. We need
hope.

An optimist isn’t necessarily a blithe, slightly sappy whistler in the dark
of our time. To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is
based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but
also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to
emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only
the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something.

If we remember those times and places — and there are so many —
where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act,
and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a
different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t
have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite
succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should
live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.

Howard Zinn
A People’s History of the United States

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Posted by | Paul Reynolds
In addition to teaching yoga on the Island of Kauai, Paul is the facilitator of the Living the Question Blog - a repository of wisdom and inspiration. Paul also produces and hosts the weekly Le Guru is You Radio Show, showcasing everyday gurus.

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