In the realm of contribution, there is no such thing as a greater, or lesser, contribution. Contribution isn’t about size, or magnitude. It is about, and there is only, contribution. Or not.
It’s worth recognizing this. Because it can be all too easy to slip into the world of judgment and get hung up on assessing and rating our contribution(s). It can be easy to see the action that makes the big difference and see things begin to shift and think “Well darn… they did that thing there and now things are altering; I guess I wasn’t the one.”
Except that you are… you are the one of the many. Without your contribution, that “final” tipping point that is so visible and seems so momentous may never have happened. Every bit is a contribution, and every bit makes the next contribution possible, and every bit cements the previous contribution. Every brick helps build the building. Your contribution was integral to the big shift starting.
When we keep our gaze only on the capstone, when we limit our view only to that final moment, we lose sight of our power. Why bother!? it seems like. My actions clearly don’t matter. Things are intractable. I tried but… it didn’t make a difference. I knew it! Might as well move on to other things and cross my fingers.
Which is, of course, the most surefire to ensure that indeed we’ll have no impact. We will definitively not be a contribution.*
When we focus on contribution as contribution, free from magnitude, we likewise gain freedom to participate and contribute everywhere in our lives. Opportunities open up.
And we get to aim ourselves. There is contribution and not contribution. Aimlessly, without care or reflection, we may be missing out on contribution, or contributing towards a direction we don’t want it to be. It’s no contribution. Mindfulness is still vital.
Moments of contribution are a gift. To contribute is to get the joy and fulfillment of building something. To be contributed to is to receive love and worthiness. And contribution can be everywhere. Every moment, every interaction, every choice, can be a contribution.
It’s a big responsibility. But we’re big people. Let’s play.
* And it’s worth remembering that not taking action is still taking an action that still produces a result – a result that likely will be supporting the opposite of the contribution we would want to make…