The Pearl, vol. 67: The tiny achievement of true love

Dear Oysters, 

I have just a few words to share. Today, I'm contemplating a series of ideas which basically boil down this: I cannot do great things—only small things with great love.* 

This might mean throwing in the towel on trying to change the world. This might mean abandoning all hope of a charmed life.

For instance, instead of trying to reach the big audience of my ego-dreams, I can embrace and engage that smaller group who really cares about what I care about.

See also: this great interview with Seth Godin. For him, the mark of professional success is that if you stopped doing your work, someone would miss you. For him, the litmus test for professional activity is: "Does this interaction leave behind a trail that I can be proud of? Does this interaction make me glad that I did it, and make me want to do it again?" In a certain way, those questions are about love.

See also: Thich Nhat Hanh, whose beautiful book True Love was magically waiting for me in a Little Free Library. He writes:

To love, in the context of Buddhism, is above all to be there. But being there is not an easy thing. Some training is necessary, some practice. ... The question that arises is: do you have time to love? 


It's becoming clearer to me than ever, Oysters, that we can make time to love. That we are teachers and helpers for each other. You may not know it, but someone out there needs what you have to give. And similarly, what you long to learn lives in the heart of another person, ready to be taught. Even the simple act of sending these little emails has brought me amazing opportunities to teach and learn. 

May you find those who need you, and those whom you need ... right in front of you. 

Stay salty,
Ellen


* People have long ascribed these words to Mother Theresa, but lately I've seen that questioned. Whoever said them first, these are words that resonate with me.