Although I saw today’s quote recently on-line somewhere, I’m sure that it has been used in the Jack’s Winning Words blog, probably more than once.
“The smallest deed is better than the grandest intention.” – Anonymous
I have also mentioned here before that one of my mother’s oft used phrases was, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” She would have agreed that the road to hell should probably be called ‘Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda Lane”.
Inaction is often the path of least resistance and one too often chosen by many. For most the underlying cause is fear – fear of real or imagined negative or dangerous outcomes or fear of failure if we try. But surrendering to fear steals our lives away and we become zombies (the living dead). Early Twentieth Century reporter and author Dorothy Thompson put it this way – “Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live.”
We should not become content with ourselves if we know that something is wrong and do nothing about it. We do not have to try to single handedly conquer the worlds big problems – hunger, wars, disease, poverty and the like; however, we can act as an individual on any of them by supporting the big efforts that are already underway through organizations like The U.N. or The Red Cross or W.H.O. At a small. Local level there are any number of worthy Go Fund Me drives underway at any time and lots of local volunteer non-profits in need of help. You don’t have to be rich to make an impact locally where your volunteer time is often the most needed resource.
Sometimes it is just acting on your concerns or what you observe that can make a dramatic difference. Think how many recent tragedies might have been averted had someone who noticed a troubled person’s distress had acted to help them or get them help before they acted on their troubled state. Being more aware of your surroundings and the signed that are there as calls for help could make a huge difference in things like domestic violence or human trafficking.
Most people have good intentions, but their comfort zone keeps them on Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda Lane instead of taking action to implement those intentions. Keep in mind that the size of the response based upon those intentions is not as important as actually taking the first steps to implement those intentions. Maybe keeping the Nike slogan – Just Do It – in mind will help or maybe remember those little WWJD bracelets from the 1990’s.
From Wikipedia – The phrase “What would Jesus do?”, often abbreviated to WWJD, became popular particularly in the United States in the late 1800s after the widely read book by Charles Sheldon entitled, In His Steps: What Would Jesus Do. The phrase had a resurgence in the US and elsewhere in the 1990s and as a personal motto for adherents of Christianity who used the phrase as a reminder of their belief in a moral imperative to act in a manner that would demonstrate the love of Jesus through the actions of the adherents.
I’m pretty sure that Jesus would not have let himself be trapped on Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda Lane and neither should you let yourself be trapped there either. Even your smallest deed to act on those good intentions is better than wishing later that you had acted.
Indeed, it is the deed. Just do it.