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Pam Grout's repeating quote is, "Is this all there is?" I know of many people who ask that same question, and go right back to watching TV. (I am also guilty of this.)
Some of the chapter titles are: "Thinking Big, Giving Big, Blessing Big, Imagining Big..." The list goes on and on. There are examples in each chapter of people who have done just that. People like you and me, people with money, or without it, people that come from hard times. People who have jumped over BIG hurdles just to help other people.
We have to learn to give and receive love, without wondering what they "want from us." Stop being so suspicious. One little thing does make a difference. Maybe not to the world, but to yourself, or someone else. Last week, there was a guy that worked at a radio station who was staying in this little tarp-covered contraption 30 feet above the ground until he received 2000 toys to donate to Toys for Tots or until 100 or so hours had passed. When I came to donate, he said, "It feels warm in there." I just had read some of the book that day, and when I made cookies for my school's workroom, I put some aside and delivered some warm cookies to him. When the security guard called him over, he had this little smirk on his face, like I was some kind of secret admirer, or stalker. That part bothered me. It's like no one can do something nice, just to be nice!! So anyway, I don't know what happened after that or what, but just one thing we do for someone else.. well.. doesn't that make us (and them) feel good?
She talks about a woman who stayed in a redwood tree and lived there two years so they wouldn't be cut down, a man who paints huge murals on every wall he can find, a woman who adopted 28 children (not Mia Farrow) and 27 of them have special needs. These are people that we don't know about, because we worship celebrities in movies or on TV. People that are famous just because their faces are bodies are familiar or beautiful to us. I am just as guilty and can be "star-struck" at times. We need to remind ourselves that what we give is what matters, not what we get. We learned this when we were little around the time of exchanging Christmas presents.
Pam Grout mentions that "last year, we spent 40 billion dollars on weight loss products, 98 percent of which did absolutely no good. With that 40 billion, we could give a million dollars a day to a worthwhile cause for the next 85 years. Maybe instead of looking for the next big diet, we should ask: What is the one thing that makes me want to get up on the table and dance? What do I ache for? How can I inject surprise, fun, and outrageousness into this day?" Losing weight gives you a temporary feeling of happiness, but it doesn't last, cause it's not as important as many other things in the world. SUV's, big houses, and lots of money is also NOT AS IMPORTANT. I think we need to be reminded daily of that. Our children, other people, humanity, those things are important, but we spent "10 minutes a day talking to our kids."
This book is wonderful. Everyone should read it, then it wouldn't just be "one person making a difference." It would be everyone working at it. I want to live big. Don't you?