• 68°

A basic principle

HOWARD COOP

Encouraging Word

It was, indeed, a little thing.

My day started with something small, a little disappointment, and as a result, I re-arranged my schedule for the day. An appointment, maybe of little significance, which had been scheduled for 8:30 that morning was a no-show. Then, I waited throughout the day, and at the end of the day, the appointment still was a no-show. A promise made, and assumed to be of little importance, was broken.

While waiting for that appointment, I remembered something from 1954. While I do not remember another song that Kitty Kallen sang, I do remember her singing “Little Things Mean a Lot,” a popular song that was named “the No. 1 song of 1954.” That song is memorable because it states, in simple terms, a basic truth of everyday life: Little things done and said by anyone do mean a lot.

Late in the afternoon on Sunday, August 1, 1971, I had in Milan, Italy, an unusual – and memorable – experience. I stood in Cathedral Square near the large statue of King Victor Emmanuel II and, looking east, I saw the large cathedral, built of brick and marble that is often called “the most beautiful cathedral in the world.” One thing is sure: Each little brick and each little piece of marble in that cathedral, tiny as it may be, means a lot. Together, their littleness combine to make that great cathedral what it is.

In the rural community in southern Kentucky where I spent my childhood and youth, there was an old adage that I heard often from the locals: “A man’s word is his bond.” Now, that old adage meant that when an individual made a promise, that promise, under all circumstances, would be faithfully kept, and the neighbors I knew lived by that old adage.

Maybe we need to return to “the good old days” when little things mean a lot and trustworthiness – dependability and reliability – is a basic principle of everyday life.