“We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee.” –Marian Wright Edelman

At times, I fight to believe these words.

Small daily differences don’t bring me recognition. Sometimes not even a thank you. They don’t give me any sense of achievement or accomplishment. Waiting for them to add up to some kind of big difference seems hopeless. At my lowest times, I’ve read accounts of small daily differences, written by the person who observed them, and found inspiration to keep going.

A small daily difference in one man’s relationship

Chris Erskine tells the story of a man who traveled across the country to tend to his ex-wife, helping see her through an agonizing stem cell transplant at City of Hope. It hadn’t helped so much, and now more chemo, more agony.

He explained how he’d stay with his ex-wife on those long days when her current husband needed to go home to rest a little. Mr. Erskine noted, “Marriage is hard. It succeeds pretty rarely. When it fails, the scars are often nasty and long-lasting.  How many of us would have the decency and character to come back the way he has? What a lesson for kids.”

A small daily difference in one man’s career

Meg James tells the story of Ralph Roberts, founder of media giant Comcast Cable, who began taking his school-age son to meetings with investment bankers when they were doing deals. But after Brian Roberts graduated from the Wharton School, he didn’t start out at corporate headquarters. Instead, Ralph Roberts sent his son out in the field to install cable lines in people’s homes.

Brian could have started in a corner office, but he didn’t. Ralph told him that “you will share my values, and your mother’s values, or you won’t work here.” Ms. James notes, “A lot of fathers try to pass their legacy and family business to their children but few have done it better than Ralph.”

A small daily difference a young child can make right now

We supply the building blocks of a child’s conscience and character. Small blocks like Kindness Love Notes and many others, stacked consistently, make a big, strong tower.


Tweetable:  Persevere in small acts of goodness; they add up to a big difference in your soul. Case in point here. Click to Tweet