Small acts lead to great victory

One of Aesop’s fables describes the terror of a young mouse, caught by a hungry lion. He pleads to be released, “Spare me!” begs the poor Mouse. “Please let me go and some day I will surely repay you.” The lion laughs, how could such an insignificant creature help him? But in his mirth, he releases the mouse. A few days later the lion is caught in a hunter’s net. His angry roars reached the mouse. He runs to the rescue and chews the Lion free. “You laughed when I said I would repay you,” said the Mouse. “Now you see that even a Mouse can help a Lion.”

C.S. Lewis describes the power of a small “good” action. “The smallest good act today is the capture of a strategic point from which, a few months later, you may be able to go on to victories you never dreamed of.”

We may feel we are as insignificant, but this mouse didn’t. He heard the cries of the lion and ran to the rescue. Our world needs mice who have confidence that their small efforts can match those of a mighty lion. There is nothing insignificant about the small good acts done within a family.

Chesterton reminds us, “The most extraordinary thing in the world is an ordinary man and an ordinary woman and their ordinary children.”

The sacrifices we make today equal peace and happiness in the future. These offerings are often begun simply by opening our eyes to the needs of those around us. The accomplishment of each “good act” requires a sidelining of distraction and selfish inclination, and actively engaging with the soul of another.  This miracle of selflessness is that it is so often accompanied by joy.

I hope we can have the attitude of this mouse – No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. For parents this may mean: resisting the impulse to anger, putting down the phone and cuddling with our toddler, staying up late to talk with our struggling teenage daughter, encouraging our sensitive child to face a fear. These small acts will lead to great victories.


I loved his Babylon Bee article which hilariously demonstrates how a perspective on the smallness of our roles as Mother’s is so very wrong.

Reading Lesson, George Hardy, 1889

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