Posted by Olaniyi Abodedele on Saturday, January 18, 2014 Under: Feature Articles

Now, we all can heave a heavy breath of relief. Especially the low and middle income Americans and of course, President Obama and his Obamacare- healthcare support program. And China will no longer need to worry about the US debts ceiling. And Johannesburg Stock Exchange will not have to worry about the effect of drop in the value of the US dollar on the Rand anymore. Can you imagine how the ripple effect of government legislative stalemate courses through the whole world from Washington DC to Beijing all through to Johannesburg? And all that really matters was some four letters signature on the dotted line of a page.

All that matters really are little hinges. Have you noticed that the little things make the big things work? Like the hinge of a door, it is impossible for a door to move, swing or even stay in place without the help of the insignificant little hinge. A small door opens the way to a mansion. A click is all it takes to send through an important e-mail on a PC. A remote click detonates a bomb. A little key is what opens up the engine of a car or airbus. A blow of whistle is all that tells if the game is over or the race can begin. A press of an insignificant device is all that it takes to send a multi-million spacecraft to Mars. A three letter signature can turn an ordinary cheque paper into a million rand. So is a single number on a lotto slip may be all the difference between red line paper and hundred of thousands rand in the hands of a player.

This reminds me of a Nigerian folklore. It is about the soldier ant and the mighty human soldier. The soldier ant cannot wear military attire like the Army Captain, but it can remove the soldier’s dress in a minute when it gets under his skin through his clothes with a maddening, poisonous sting. The uneducated driver holds the big boss’s life when behind the wheels. The clumsy immigrant maid holds not only the key of the house, but the family’s health on the kitchen table. See, how the lowly-paid young PA in the corner office makes the multimillionaire chairman of the multinational conglomerate functional and effective.

Remember, the teenage Pakistani girl who almost won this year Nobel peace prize, Miss. Malala Yousafzai. What makes the difference between her and other teenage girls anywhere in the world?  Just a little courage to be different; to say NO when it matters and YES when it counts. Malala stood up against the oppressive Taliban outlaw lords in rural Pakistani. She said yes to girl-child education. And now, she gets to lecture world leaders about peace and girl-child education.  A little step of faith may be all that it takes for a lifetime of breakthrough.

A light turn or twist of the faucet fills the bath or pool with water. A drop of seed brings a bountiful of harvest.

Remember, the former IMF boss? Yes, Mr. Dominique Strauss! He was the prime candidate for the French presidency in 2011. But, a bottle of red wine moment, a sly look and a brazen touch was all it took an immigrant hotel maid to send the great man into irredeemable humiliation and political oblivion.  The time honored saying- a stitch in time saves nine has been proven over and over again. So is one rotten apple may spoil a whole cart. An unattended small cut may lead to death-causing festering sore. An unguarded word may ruin friendship and even a nation. A little neglect may bring a house crumble down. A sly look may lead to unguarded moment of unplanned adultery.  A little misspelling of a word puts a whole city in turmoil. In 2002, Miss World Competition could not hold in Nigeria because a newspaper editorial incensed some Islamic group.

Thomas Edison’s teacher in his early grades, history tells us, once recommended he should be removed from school because he was unfit for academic matters. But his mother would have none of that. She said to her son; you are the best student ever. Edison said of his mother, “My mother was the making of me. She was so true, so sure of me, and I felt had someone to live, someone I must not disappoint”. For just a piece of garland round their necks and a fraction of a second handshake, full-grown men were prepared to fight and die for Adolf Hitler. A little pat on the back may inspire fourth grader to win his next school relay race. An aptly said sorry maybe all that is needed to save a failing marriage.

Now, you see why we must sweat the small stuff. The fact that they are small is enough to be conscious of them and they are easy to manage than the big things. They are small, but they matter and they can make or mar the big things. Just like this article was started with a little thought, then a letter typed on my PC. Remember, most big things or people were once small. A million rand bank account starts with a cent coin. You see, a word, they say, is enough for a wise.

Don’t you think?

In : Feature Articles 

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