Max gives me hope in many ways. Often that hope comes less from something he does and more from the fact that he is here with me, especially when I get overwhelmed.
And I often get overwhelmed. I am overwhelmed about the brokenness of the world, about how I should be impacting the world, about the many other ways I could be doing good but am not at the moment, about all the people to whom I can and should show love.
I too often get that pit in my stomach that tells me I am not doing as much good as I should be doing. And it is incredibly overwhelming to think I must constantly be doing more.
Then Max walks in and reminds me that life is not about doing more and more, even if it is all amazing, good stuff. Rather, life is about living presently in love, in whatever tiny ways such loving is manifest. Life is about recognizing that even a single act of good or love in this world drastically impacts the very shape of the world.
Max walks in and I am reminded that life is not about balancing the good, the neutral and the bad to see what is weightiest at the end of days. Life is richer and more meaningful than that.
Max walks in and I am reminded that even if I do nothing else than take care of him, I have done enough.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t support being a lazy, self-centered couch potato. Being apathetic about the good I do is even worse than trying to quantify it, and there are definitely times I have to step out and look for new opportunities so as not to become apathetic.
But Max has taught me to appreciate whatever little good I do for another instead of worrying about what more I can do, because good and love are not quantifiable things. Sure, the acts of good and love can be measured, but the significance and impact cannot, and that is what matters.
Max has taught me that any good act of love and care resounds greatly in this world, so that even the smallest of such acts is worth doing. He has taught me that doing good in this world is equally important whether it is directed to one being or to millions. And he has taught me not to be overwhelmed or to think I have to reach the millions to have a worthwhile life.
I take care of Max – I show love to Max – and that is good. And that is enough.
So thank you Max for teaching me not to focus on the lack of good I’ve done or all the things left to do, but rather on the significance of every little good thing I’ve done. And thank you for showing me that it is good, it is enough, to show love to one small being.