Last year I went to Croatia for a summer vacation. There, by the Adriatic sea, I was snorkeling for the first time in my life. I was even asking myself why on Earth I never tried it before because it was fantastic! I couldn’t get out of the water for at least two hours and got my back nicely sunburnt.
Snorkeling was like a whole new perspective on life: I looked beneath the surface and for a while I felt like I became a part of a different world. The one that is normally hidden from our sights, the one where all sorts of creatures live in symbiosis – letting me to be an observer.
It was then when a surreal picture popped in my head: I imagined someone above me doing the same thing to us. Observing us how we live. Just as I felt so superior at that moment, being above everything else beneath me, I felt so miniscule at the same time – picturing myself from the perspective of this imaginary spectator high above. Moreover, when I pictured myself in that great vastness of the sea I started to be aware of my own insignificance.
This fantasy might work as a good metaphor to life, which I later on grasped even more in London. At first I felt like my presence there was very important, at least for me. I didn’t want to be a cliche: to become another one of the millions of immigrants who came to milk the big cow called London in the quest of making their dreams come true. I wanted to be different.
But was I to be different? Of course not. The big city only deepened my sense of unimportance. My presence will not make a change, my presence is close to nothing when looked upon from above. Walking through the streets of London and seeing all the people, I felt swallowed by the greatness of the world. Everything suddenly seemed so trivial. I thought: if I weren’t here now, who would notice? Who would even care? The only thing that really mattered then was when I came back home from town, made a tea and vanilla custard for my housemates, their smiles, the warmth of my bed, the beautiful silence and intimacy of a household. In my house I was able to make a change even by washing the dishes.
It’s the small deeds that matter. Things that you can’t see or touch. And together maybe they can create something big.
We need to zoom in to see those tiny little things in life that matter. Because when we zoom out we may realise that without those little things WE don’t matter.
Fish in a sea. Ants in an anthill. Needles in a haystack. Dots on a map. That’s all we are.