In the vast ocean of time and space, human beings are no more than pebbles, rippling through the water momentarily, before sinking under. Many people think that they don’t amount to much in the world. How can the tiniest of pebbles make any difference in the largest of oceans? It’s in these trying times of doubt, when we truly need to look under the surface. Life isn’t all about the ripples.
People say that life is about looking at the bigger picture, but so many of us forget that a bigger picture cannot exist without the small pieces that make it up.
The bottom of the ocean is a mystery to our world. At the furthest depths, we would find a world starkly different from our own. Anglerfish in the darkest corners release light emitting pigments to draw in their prey, while giant tube worms at bottom of the ocean survive off of volcanic powered hydrothermal vents in nearly boiling water. As you can infer from the lives of just these two creatures, even in the most unreachable corners of our planet, organisms find their place and build community.
In ecology, a niche is defined as “a position or role taken by a kind of organism within its community.” (Google Search) When you hear the words position and role, many people will assume that their niche must be their job. While it is true that your niche can be your job, it is also true that if we limit ourselves to only this view of what a niche is, we limit our view of where we fit into the bigger picture. The key word in our definition of niche is community. Without community, life as we know it would be impossible, and if we are truly to understand how the tiniest of pebbles can make a difference in the largest of oceans, then we have to start by understanding community.
What does community mean to you? Is it the town or neighborhood you live in? The job or organization you belong to? The church or school you attend? In the literal definition, yes, all of those things are a community. But truthfully, I believe that community doesn’t begin until we learn to live in harmony—until we learn our niche. Think back to your own community. In your town, there are stores filled with workers and managers, offices filled with doctors and assistants, schools filled with teachers and learners. If you look around your community, you will find place after place after place with a need to be filled.
We’ve been dancing around the question of how the tiniest pebble can make a difference in the largest of oceans. I’ll tell you now, and it’s a simple one. The tiniest pebble makes a difference in the largest of oceans simply by existing.
As I said previously, community comes when we live in harmony. In this day, the word harmony is most often used in reference to music, but it also refers to the state of an environment. A harmonious environment, much like harmonious music, is cohesive, and weaves many facets together to build the best outcome. We can all surely exist on this Earth, but we need harmony in order to be a community. Harmony means knowing the people around you, and appreciating their strengths and talents. Harmony is giving meaning to one another together.
So now I ask, what does it mean to you to know that the people in your life exist? How have they made a difference in your life? What do they mean to you? Today, I challenge you to think of three people. Take the time to consider the people you will pick, and tell them just what they mean to you. Once you have, challenge them to do the same. We may be tiny pebbles in a vast ocean, but we are all a part of one ocean. Let’s start living like it.