We live in a world where bigger is better. That’s what we’re told at least. We allow ourselves to become obsessed with enormity. Biggest ever. Tallest ever. We’re so infatuated with size, we combine words that describe largeness in order to make things even larger. Ginormous.
The great irony with this obsession is that as large as our planet is, it really only works the smaller it gets.
The annoying song from the Disney ride notwithstanding, I believe greatness in life can be found in the fact we live in a small world. With the ever increasing reach of technology and social media, the world gets smaller and smaller every day. It’s as if these sites are wrapping their arms around the planet and squeezing us all in a little closer, allowing us to better interact with one another, and inspiring us to do good for complete strangers.
Take, for example, the story of Jenny Lawson (aka The Bloggess) and how she turned the purchase of a stuffed and mounted boar’s head into $42,000 of gifts and toys for people around the world. The fact this was accomplished with no planning and almost completely by accident speaks volumes not only to the power of digital media, but also the overflowing generosity of people wanting to help other people.
A pre-cursor to Jenny’s story is how she decided to help a fellow blogger who was recovering from a stroke. Imagine my surprise when the blogger in question, Anissa Mayhew, is someone I know. I don’t know her personally, but I do know her husband. He and I were once peers at work, and we keep in touch through, you guessed it, social media.
In addition to the newfound three degrees of separation between Jenny Lawson and me – who, by the way, has been added to my list of people to admire – I am fascinated by what I continue to see, experience and read about as a result of social media.
Whereas the world was once ‘out there’, out of reach for the common, everyday person; it is now increasingly available to all of us who are willing to interact and collaborate with one another. It used to be the idea of one person making a difference was laughable. Now, it’s not only very plausible, but it is also becoming more and more commonplace as individuals with large vision and even larger hearts are harnessing the power of the digital age to do social good.
There are millions of things we can do and actions we can take to help make a difference in the lives of others. Although the options may seem overwhelming, I invite you to do one simple thing this holiday season. Introduce yourself to someone new and try to foster a new relationship with this person. It doesn’t have to be anything involved or in depth. Rather, simply make an acquaintance out of a stranger. This way, we will all be a little bit more connected, and the world will become just a little smaller as a result. After all, size matters.