a tiny weightless thing

September 10th, 2023

Many years ago, when my life seemed to take a radical and inexplicable turn, people would sometimes ask how I decided to make that happen. The truth is, I didn’t make anything happen except in the smallest ways. I didn’t decide to downsize, for instance, although it looked that way. I didn’t become a minimalist, although my needs diminished. I didn’t decide to pursue a spiritual path, I just put one foot in front of the other. I didn’t resist, reject, or refuse anything, I simply made different choices. They are the kind of choices we are presented with all the time.

Instead of more I chose less. Instead of that I chose this. Instead of later I chose now. And instead of me, well, I didn’t choose me.

If we are lucky, we are given a great deal of time on this earth, time enough to get a good look around. And eventually, after enough upheavals, disasters, and disappointments, we might realize the point of it all.

It’s not just to be kind, although that’s part of it. It’s not just to be tolerant or generous, although both of those will become easier. It’s not really about gratitude either, although you will be grateful for all the opportunities given to you.

We are here, together, now to serve one another. Let’s not make that complicated. It’s really simple, and a lot simpler than serving yourself. Serving yourself is an endless, exhausting, and futile endeavor. It perpetuates dissatisfaction. It multiplies desires. But serving others, helping others, and caring for others is a tiny, weightless thing. It’s instantly satisfying and gratifying. In other words, it’s good.

This is the secret to happiness. Let’s not keep it a secret.

Become the least grain of sand at the beach.

Photo by jim gade on Unsplash


  1. Yes I agree.
    I started cooking for a charity once a week a month ago. It is such a joy to do that. And it takes you out of yourself completely.
    Cooking is such an undervalued expression of love and care.

    Comment by Simone — September 10, 2023 @ 7:49 am

  2. I loved this so much! So timely… thank you always, for your wisdom xox

    Comment by Barbara — September 10, 2023 @ 12:16 pm

  3. This feels true and good. But may I add an adjunct, that we also benefit by allowing ourselves to be helped. For many of us this is hard – we (ok, I) gain strength and, and this is hard to say, a sense of mild superiority from helping others. How isolating, how ‘othering’.

    Comment by Doreen — September 10, 2023 @ 12:59 pm

  4. Ego takes every guise: helping, not helping, not allowing to be helped. It is the only difficulty, and so we practice letting be and letting go.

    Comment by Karen Maezen Miller — September 10, 2023 @ 1:44 pm

  5. Perfect thing to read just at this moment in my life! “We are here, together, now to serve one another. Let’s not make that complicated.” The whole tone of this post is perfect!
    Many thanks.

    Comment by Tom Davidson-Marx — September 11, 2023 @ 6:43 am

  6. I’ve really missed your voice. As always, your words this afternoon are so welcome and so gratefully received. The simplicity and clarity of your perspective arrives like a breath of fresh air in a stale, overheated room. Thank you, my friend, for carrying on and for serving as you do, with offerings from your heart to mine and to so many others.

    Comment by Katrina — September 18, 2023 @ 11:41 am

  7. Carrying on, carrying on, no beginning, no end. Thank you, traveler.

    Comment by Karen Maezen Miller — September 20, 2023 @ 7:46 am

  8. Love it. Thank you, Maezen.

    Comment by Bernardita — October 12, 2023 @ 3:34 pm

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