Keeping Your World Small


Keeping Your World Small

I have often been criticized about my views on faith. I am a product of parochial schools and not only had religion classes every day from first through twelfth grade, but I also took religion classes as my humanity requirements during my undergrad years in college. I feel I have a pretty firm grasp of my religion. While this article will not be a religious article, I have been given a lot of grief by family, friends, and even strangers about having such a simplistic view of things. I won’t talk about religious conspiracy theories or polarizing religious topics. I have my faith. I believe. Now, what else do you want to talk about? It infuriates people that want to start an argument or who want to share their thoughts. My friends, I simply choose not to play. Let me say that again.

I simply choose not to play.

You know what? It infuriates people to be so noncontroversial. I didn’t ask their opinions are allow them to opine on their views or stances on topics. It isn’t that I don’t care, it’s because rarely if ever do positive results come from such conversations. The larger we make the picture, the more there is to dissect, analyze, and with some people ultimately criticize. I keep my pictures small. Another way to say that is, I focus on what is exactly right in front of me. If we are having a conversation, I am completely invested in that conversation. When I am writing an article, I don’t listen to music or have any outside disturbances. I wholly focus on the task at hand. Training your mind to keep the world small allows us to not become as overwhelmed when the world tries to be very large. In a previous article, I talked about my dislike for cauliflower and my comparison to being down or sad. I feel about cauliflower the same way about feeling down. Well to add another analogy, overwhelmed to me is like fast food. No matter how I feel about it, it doesn’t like me. If I eat it, it reminds me of how much my body doesn’t like it. Overwhelmed does the same thing to me. Therefore, I don’t eat fast food. I don’t do overwhelmed.

My son’s best friend is an amazing young man. He comes from an amazing family. One of the things that keeps me in a constant state of awe with them is they make their own soap. I’m talking boiling fat down, adding lye, the whole smash. They were short of molds last year and I happen to have a couple. For my molds being borrowed, we got a few bars of soap. Love it! They used bacon fat as the primary lard ingredient. They boiled it down like 6 or 7 times to purify it. It was white and had zero smell to it by the time they used it (shout out to you Mahoney family). My friends, I try very hard to take large, complicated things and boil them down. When we boil things down to their purest form, what is left is the most useful of all. It seems the world likes us in an overwhelmed state. We aren’t as focused, and we aren’t as aware. Our ability to problem solve and react rationally and calmly is severely hampered by being overwhelmed. When we boil things down and keep our world small, we can better see what really needs our attention and what is just the stuff that needs to be boiled off.

Being able to do this is no small feat. It takes practice. It takes dedication to not being so quick to ping to overwhelmed. Take a breath. Take another. Now ask yourself, ‘what is the root of this thing that seems so large?’ Most things are puzzles. We are always in a hurry to put puzzles together. Sometimes, it’s important to take them apart and look at the individual pieces for the answers. Keeping your world small is no small thing. It’s useful and wonderful. Now that school is back in full swing and stores are already reminding us of the upcoming holiday season, and cold and flu season is upon us, and, and and. Take a few moments to shrink your world. Find the importance in the small, solve one issue at a time and move on to the next. Advocating for more joy to me is being present in the now. It’s being present for those who you choose to spend your time with. It’s finding happiness in completing tasks. Keep your world small dear friends. I’ll pass by the fast-food restaurants and say no thank you to the cauliflower. I hope you do too.

Steve Gwisdalla is a Dexter resident. He is the Owner, Chief Tribe of Up Dude, World Shrinker, and Vice President of the Say No to Cauliflower Club. Reach out to him at

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