There is an exciting project taking off right now called Little Free Library. If you haven’t heard of it you may have seen it. The idea of the organization is to “promote literacy and the love of reading by building free book exchanges worldwide.” This isn’t exactly a new idea but the way they are doing it is. Their method is to have individuals, groups, businesses…anyone…build a small (literally) library and put it in their yard or near public access.
By small I mean these libraries are only about 12 – 18″ in any direction. The picture with this post is one I see regularly. While the styles are all unique (click here to see others) this gives you an idea of what they look like. Anyone is free to take or donate books. You can read a book from one and put in another. And they are open 24 hrs a day.
This idea is taking of in a big way. Little libraries are being built all over the world. In the relatively small area I work, live and play in I regularly drive, ride and walk by nearly a dozen of them. I see new ones popping up on a regular basis. The credit union just down from my office just put one up last week. I get excited about this project for a couple of reasons. The most obvious is that I’m a big fan of literacy. But less obvious is the message it sends… Small changes can have big impact.
This is a message that I think we all could hold on to a little more. Too often I hear clients afraid of or unwilling to make changes because they feel that the size of the changes needed to get where they want to be are gigantic. It can feel overwhelming to take on such a daunting task. But the reality is that small changes can have huge impact. Think of it as a ripple effect. A small stone dropped in water can make big ripples. It didn’t take a stone the size of the largest ripple…it only needed to be the size of the smallest one.
I love the moments in therapy when I’m working with a couple and one says, “my partner changed so much…they really were different this week.” Often the other responds with, “all I did was X (something that seemed minor).” The partner had been hearing the other person say what changes were wanted and imagined that it was a huge, daunting task. But in reality one or two small changes had major impact.
In the spirit of big impact from small efforts I’m going to end this post and hope I’ve accomplished some of that myself!