Little things do mean a lot

Posted 1/13/21

Much of modern society, major advertising especially, tells us that “new” and “bigger” equal “better.”

Years ago, or so it seems, products from cars and clothes to radios and rugs all …

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Little things do mean a lot

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Much of modern society, major advertising especially, tells us that “new” and “bigger” equal “better.”

Years ago, or so it seems, products from cars and clothes to radios and rugs all seemed to last longer than they typically do today. Folks complained that production practices changed from making stuff to last as long as it could to what became known as “planned obsolescence.” That meant, of course, that the quicker things would wear out or break the sooner the public would need to buy another to replace what they had.

And along with that came the notion that “new and improved” was worth the extra bucks the thing would cost.

I’m not against productivity and free enterprise and the notion of building a better mousetrap, but the more birthdays I have the more I’m becoming convinced that bigger isn’t necessarily better; that it often is the small things of life that get us through and not only get us through but get us through in a more preferred way.

This whole train of thought got started a few days ago — not so much on buying something or seeing the latest gadget, but rather on a small physical concern.

Cold weather, in addition to making me long for spring, also tends to do not so nice things to my hands. Maybe it’s from picking up bales of hay or other farm chores; maybe it’s that I wash my hands 74 times a day in this age of virus and pandemic; maybe it’s just that I’m turning into an old man. I don’t know but I do know that when the weather gets cold, I tend to get little nicks and scrapes on my hands.

Those little nicks are especially a pain when using hand sanitizers, again one of the byproducts of our virus age. Since those products are mostly alcohol it’s not hard to notice where the nicks are. But there’s another reminder on my hands of just how important small things can be sometimes. On my right thumb is a small nick, a broken place in the skin. It’s not a big thing but the problem is it’s right where I push to fasten buttons on my shirts, especially the top collar button right before tying the ol’ necktie.

It’s amazing how much that little nick hurts when it’s pushed.

I say all this not to whine so much about a little something I hope will go away soon but rather to point out how important the little things in life can be. It’s like the old story about a nail in a horseshoe.

As I remember, that little piece went something like, “For want (or lack) of a nail the shoe was lost; for want of the shoe the horse was lost; for want of the horse the rider was lost; for want of the rider the battle was lost; for want of the battle the war was lost; for want of the war the kingdom was lost ... all for the want of a nail.”

Kind of puts a different perspective on things, doesn’t it?

Hope you can take care of your small stuff.

Bob Wachs is a native of Chatham County and retired long-time managing editor of the Chatham News/Chatham Record, having written a weekly column for more than 30 years. During most of his time with the newspapers, he was also a bi-vocational pastor and today serves Bear Creek Baptist Church for the second time as pastor.


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