It’s Always the Little Things

Abhishek Paul
2 min readNov 2, 2018

At the church I help to take care of the coffee arrangements. We have 4 beautiful glass containers to hold the coffee, tea bags, milk powder and sugar. We have 3 long polished spoons to help serve with. In addition to this we have 2 elegant holders for the stirrers and tissues. All these are placed on a beautiful glass tray. I take time to wash them and set them up for people to use. I arrange them carefully (in order of height) with appropriate and equal spacing. This takes me some time, but the end result makes it worth it.

But it lasts for hardly a few minutes, by the time 3 or 4 people have helped themselves, the spoons are a mix of coffee and water, so is the tray, there’s milk and sugar spilt around and whatever beauty existed disappears in the mess in an instant. My wife gives me a comforting smile as she sees me scowling at every offender stepping up to the table.

I wonder why adults are unwilling to think of how their behaviour is contributing to a general state of uncleanliness. Don’t they realize that somebody has taken time to arrange everything and more importantly, someone has to clean up the mess? Do they not care about this person working behind the scenes?

I have the same question in office when I see people leave used or worse half empty cups lying around in the tables or in conference rooms. It becomes quite sad when I see the way people treat the rest rooms! Don’t they realize that some other human being has to clean up their sh** (literally!!).

Empathy is a powerful word, something that I struggle with — but the least I can do is clean up after myself and maybe, just maybe also thank the person who set everything up in the first place.

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