"ON DECEMBER 1, 1997—oh, heck, once upon a time—a boy, no longer little, told his friends to watch out, that he was going to do something "really big" the next day at school, and the next day at school he took his gun and his ammo and his earplugs and shot eight classmates who had clustered for a prayer meeting. Three died, and they were still children, almost. The shootings took place in West Paducah, Kentucky, and when Mister Rogers heard about them, he said, "Oh, wouldn't the world be a different place if he had said, 'I'm going to do something really little tomorrow?..."
To read more: Can You Say..."Hero?" - at Esquire.com
I admire the late Fred Rogers in the same way I admire my great-grandparents (who I was lucky enough to know well into my teens): I admire them because no matter what the external circumstance was they had this unshakable inner-grace that not only seemed to grant them peace, but gave a sense of peace to those around them. Peace is a commodity in this world. And it shouldn't be because the solution may be simpler than we think. It starts by doing something little... by "deep and simple instead of shallow and complex."
Doing something really little can make a bigger impact than you think; smile at everyone you meet, let someone with less groceries (or more kids) cut in line at the store, send a letter in the mail to a friend, leave a uplifting note in your kids backpacks, call your grandparents (if you're lucky enough to have them)... little things done with great love.
2014 is a year I am devoting to "little" things. I have felt that my life has lost some meaning since I stopped working outside my home. I felt like my impact is lessened. In reality, yes, I know. I am doing the greatest job there is: raising human beings who (I hope) will be examples of how children should be raised. It's my desire and drive for impact that may have lead me astray. It was Mister Rogers' response above that confirmed what I have been reading and studying these first two months of 2014: progress toward a better world doesn't have to be BIG or HARD (insert sexual innuendo here, you twisted people I know and love) or SCARY.
After all, perhaps the most used phrase describing progress is "little by little" not "big by big".