It’s interesting to me as we move through time, most of us think we live insignificant lives. We compare ourselves with others who have achieved great fame or wealth or both, and we go to work everyday, make meals, do the laundry and other household chores, raise our children and then one day we die. We ask ourselves, “What was it all for?”
How untrue this is! Living an ordinary life is an extraordinary experience. Haven’t you ever noticed it’s the little things people remember? Like the time your father presented you with a corsage and danced with you to a father/daughter dance when you were six. Or when your favorite aunt bought you panty hose when your mother refused to let you wear nylon stockings. Or when your mother sat beside your bed and played word games with you when you were sick. None of these activities are going to be written down in the archives of some museum. No. They are written down in a place far more sacred than that–your heart.
Sometimes just a kind word to someone can make their day. Opening the door with a smile for a mother struggling with toddlers or an older person walking with a cane cane be one of the best things that happened to them all day. Giving someone a compliment when they least expect it can raise spirits. Telling someone you believe in them, might be a turning point in their life. Unknowingly, we might have made a big difference for that day or maybe even a life time.
When you care for someone or love them beyond all understanding, they will remember the small things. The quiet, tender moments. The times you spent together. The ideas you shared. They won’t remember how much money you spent on them for Christmas or their birthdays, but they will never forget when you surprised them with a song or a poem.
So the next time you think you’re dull, unworthy, or boring, know that you are not. The small things we do out of kindness, caring, and love will trump the most expensive gift. We are all connected. Kindness begets kindness. And if more people believed that one fact, we’d live in a less violent world.
As authors, we try to capture these details, because when we do, the ordinary connects our readers to the characters, and thus to us. Draw upon your daily life for inspiration or motivation for character development. A reader will be drawn to a character who is more troubled over her grandma’s broken china pitcher that was cracked during a bombing raid because realizing the house across the street that was obliterated is just too big to comprehend.
Use your smallest experiences to breathe life into characters. It’s one perk of living a “dull” life.