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Quote of the Day: Gandalf

December 16th, 2012

Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay… small acts of kindness and love.”

Gandalf the Gray in The Hobbit

When Mr Chiots and I were at this movie on Friday, this line immediately struck me and I knew it would be my quote for today. I have certainly found this to be the case in my life. Small deeds of ordinary people really help make the world a much better place. There have been countless small experiences that make my day almost every day. This is one of the benefits of working for a small non-profit.
It can be something simple as having coffee with your neighbor, turning in a lost item, paying for someone’s lunch, spending time with someone, listening, planting a seed, buying from a local farmer, or just smiling at someone on the street. I think, far too often in our drama focuses society, we think it has to be big boisterous visible acts that make a difference, but in reality it’s all the little things that get noticed and remembered.

What small acts of kindness or love have made the most difference to you?

12 Comments to “Quote of the Day: Gandalf”
  1. Erin on December 16, 2012 at 8:42 am

    My friend bought me a beautiful journal without me knowing. My var had been broken into this summer when I was working on a mountain i VT, and they took my bag with my GPS, passport and unfortunately my journal I had since 11. I didn’t care about the GPS, I mourned over my memories and writings lost. I was hesitant to buy a new one, then she did the hard task for me. She didn’t tell anyone, just did it. It was one of the greatest gifts I have ever recieved.

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  2. Jennifer Ray on December 16, 2012 at 9:13 am

    Your post made me think of a music video I watched the other day — Noah and the Whale’s ‘give a little love’. It’s full of warm fuzzies. Little acts of kindness which inspire others to be kind in turn:-

    Reply to Jennifer Ray's comment

  3. Rocky Top Farm on December 16, 2012 at 11:19 am

    Just saw this with the boys and this quote has been in my head ever since! The boys and I talked so much about this very thing after the movie and in light of world events of late I have told them since they were born to look for the good, there is always good. !

    Reply to Rocky Top Farm's comment

  4. KimH on December 16, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    There have been so many in my life.. and I know Im truly blessed but one time in my entire life really stands out for me.

    When my 2 daughters were babies,(about 28 years ago) their father was not a good provider and we were in dire straights often, which he seemed to care less about. I mean seriously dire.. no phone, water shut off, electricity being threatened to be shut off, little food in the cabinet/freezer except what came out of my garden, being threatened to be evicted from our rental, etc..
    I dont remember the exact circumstances (who would want to, right? ;) ) but our checking account was in the hole for about $80 or so. Back then, its value was more like $200 is today.. so for someone with no hope of paying it back, I was in excruciating emotional pain over it.

    I have no idea to this day how it happened, but someone made a $150 deposit into my account and brought us in the green and there was enough there to buy several weeks worth of food.

    I called the bank & told them there was some mistake and they said no, there was no mistake, there was an anonymous deposit and it had been credited correctly.

    I cant tell you what that act of kindness meant to me then.. It was a miracle and a prayer from God answered in the last imaginable way. It impacted me in a much larger way than the obvious.. While I’d always been a giving person and enjoyed helping others when & how I could, even in childhood, this helped me to take to another level..

    I’ve learned how much joy I get to know that I can help others as someone unknown helped me to make a huge impact in others lives.. Its a beautiful God-filled joy and it makes the world go round.

    I never did find out who made that deposit.. I lived in a very tiny old central Texas town, where 2 of my great aunts lived, as well as some of the elderly members of our church congregation who I was quite close to but none of them knew of my extreme financial peril at that moment other than the obvious.
    One of my great aunts worked at the bank, so I always suspected it was her, but I’ll never really know until I meet her on the other side..
    That was totally good stuff, folks.. made a huge impression on me. ;)

    Reply to KimH's comment

    • Susy on December 16, 2012 at 1:09 pm

      Wonderful example!

      Reply to Susy's comment

    • amy on December 16, 2012 at 4:24 pm

      Beautiful story~Kim~Thank you for sharing. Blessings.

      Reply to amy's comment

  5. Maybelline on December 16, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    My 82 year old neighbor rolls my garbage bins up to my house after they have been emptied. He does this so I can recuperate fully from back surgeries. Great neighbor.

    Reply to Maybelline's comment

    • KimH on December 16, 2012 at 8:13 pm

      Good neighbors are the BEST, arent they!

      Reply to KimH's comment

  6. Sarona on December 17, 2012 at 9:25 am

    My mom has always had a servant’s heart. When I was pregnant at 19 she sacrificed to help me with the baby so I could finish college. When I was 34 and giving birth to my 3rd child she did the same, not asking what needed to be done,,but just doing it, always with a smile. Cleaning, laundry, burping, bathing, dinner, changing diapers, reading to or caring for the other kids so I could nap, it went on and on. She is the greatest example to me of small (and big!) acts of kindness – and that’s an awesome legacy!

    Reply to Sarona's comment

  7. Carrie on January 5, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    I just saw this movie and the line immediately jumped out at me. I’m friends with a young man who doesn’t have much in the way of material things but is the best and most compassionate listener I know. The gift of friendship and understanding are priceless, worth way more than any material things.

    Reply to Carrie's comment

  8. Darcey on August 21, 2013 at 11:10 am

    A heads up that this quote, while it appears in the movie, is not in the book “The Hobbit.” It might be in the Lord of the Rings though- does anyone know?

    Reply to Darcey's comment

  9. Shelby on February 1, 2014 at 11:04 pm

    I have been blessed with many memories of little kindnesses given and received throughout my life… But one particular memory, I think, is quite relevant here.
    One time, walking home from a long day at work, I passed a man carrying a gift bag, and bouquet of flowers… With the heads of the flowers cut off. He noticed my curiousity, and explained – “I am trading flowers for smiles. Will you smile?”. Almost involuntarily, I did, and he fished a flower head from the gift bag. As he handed me the flower, he told me I must trade the flower for someone else’s smile… I must pass it on.
    He had a dozen or so of those chains of kindness to start… Who knows what those little flowers might have meant to someone? The simple act of giving a flower, passed on, surely rippled out to reach farther than I can imagine.

    Reply to Shelby's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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