Start with the Smallest Thing

A time of crisis can be an opportunity to take stock, pause, and reflect while taking action to prepare as best we can. To re-calibrate. It is a time that forces us to focus on those things that we can control and also those things that really matter in the end – what lies within our circle of influence and what doesn’t. It reminds us that small actions are important – that the little things matter. Coughing into one’s sleeve, washing one’s hands, being respectful of others, being kind.

The ancient Stoic philosophers can provide much wisdom and consolation at such times. They teach us to be resilient, to focus on what we can control, and to adopt an appropriate stance towards the ups and downs of life. The writings of Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, and Epictetus are wonderful guides and friends at such times. They can help us to focus on the things under our control and maybe to start with the smallest thing.