Kitty Kallen was right: Little things do mean a lot

BY BOB WACHS, Columnist
Posted 4/10/20

It’s been said “little things mean a lot.” But just what is a “little thing”?

Is it, like beauty, in the eye of the beholder? Do the little things ever amount to bigger …

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Kitty Kallen was right: Little things do mean a lot

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It’s been said “little things mean a lot.” But just what is a “little thing”?

Is it, like beauty, in the eye of the beholder? Do the little things ever amount to bigger ones?

Consider, for instance, a single snowflake. By itself it’s hardly noticeable. But let a couple hundred or so of them get together and they’ll slide a semi off the road. Or take a tiny wasp weighing no more than a nano-ounce. With the right aim, that little wasp can make a 2,000-pound bull charge down a hill and through a fence.

And the life we’re all living now with the spread of a mean virus so little we can’t see it is certainly proof of a little thing meaning a lot.

But this time of the year turns my attention to another little thing, namely Mother Nature’s pollen. I’ve got to assume that when the Grand Designer and Creator undertook creation that pollen was part of the plan. Without pollen today, plants as we know them would have a hard time simply existing.

Without pollen — and the bees and wind that carries it — we’d have no beans and tomatoes and pine trees and majestic oaks and the like. And, my stars, without pollen there’d be no corn growing for corn on the cob or popcorn, the latter of which would send part of my household into deep mourning.

I’m a big fan of pollen because of its end result; I’m just not that big of a fan while it’s working. And that has nothing to do with it turning my gas grill green or coating the truck with yellow stuff.

It’s because it’s a little thing, a little thing that climbs up my nose, down my throat and behind my contact lenses. Basically, I should remain indoors for most of April but that’s hard to do — even in the midst of being told to stay home, when the sky is turning blue and the grass is going green and the azaleas are doing their thing.

So, I go out outside so I can be tortured by pollen. Have you ever seen a single speck or grain or whatever they’re called of pollen? I looked up a picture of one recently and it looked like a miniature sweet gum ball or a rolled-up porcupine, all sharp and prickly.

So, I got to thinking (and here you must understand that “got to thinking” is a Southern phrase like “fixing to,” as in it’s fixing to rain, hopefully maybe to wash away the pollen)...I got to thinking that maybe dealing with pollen is sort of like dealing with life. Sometimes it is the prickly things that cause us to take action, as in when pollen gets in my eyes, I have to wash my contacts or when it slides down my throat, I drag out the salt and vinegar and make my mama’s concoction for throat gargling.

It’s when life gets prickly that we need to do what we can to correct or improve it, whether it’s to say “I’m sorry” or “Congratulations” or right now to stay at least six feet away from every other human being. The end result, like the end result of pollen, can be a beautiful thing.

And, by the way, for those folks under, say, 21 or 38 or even 57, Kitty Kallen colored the airways in the 40s and 50s with a little song about how little things really do mean a lot.

Check it out...and try her advice yourself.


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