Small things Count

I've been attending Debconf, the anual conference of The Debian Project. I've also been working on being mindful of the role of love in all aspects of my life.

Sometimes, I'm disappointed because it feels like the work I do is very small. I want to make a difference, and I'm worried because it doesn't feel like that's the case.

I've been reminded again and again at this conference of how things ripple together and how the small differences build up over time. Many small things. Someone came up to me and talked about how work I had done in 2000 had helped them out. A developer I respected talked about how a blog post I'd written helped him evaluate new technology several years ago. Others have made it clear that I am valued and worth listening to

The validation is really appreciated.. One lesson here is that if others have similar needs and feelings, small gestures letting people know when they are valued really matter. However I've also found it valuable to understand where people went with the things I've done. The work back in 2000 helped someone solve their current problem but also helped them get interested in a series of technology and connect with people they find valuable. The blog post helped someone improve their work flow and allow them to help others. Things join together and the ripples from our contributions build into something bigger than we are.

that is as true in approaching love as it is in technology. I've been talking to people about the value of empathy and have already seen some people take interest and start to consider how that could help us. I've also had a couple of opportunities to help people connect and understand each others' needs. I was pleased to witness one conversation where tension was starting to rise. However as needs were understood, both parties left considering each others' positions.

I'm pleased to be able to step past my worry and disappointment and be open enough to hear the value I'm bringing. I'm pleased to be able to offer the others and to have more confidence that it really does help people to show them how they are valued. It's also pleasing to be able to apply techniques I've developed in my love related work to my whole life and see them succeed.