It’s the little things in life that matter

Published 2:25 pm Tuesday, January 25, 2022

If you stroll down Elk Avenue, you can’t help but notice the little “box” library outside the Elizabethton/Carter County Chamber of Commerce office. It has a dozen or more small children’s books in it.
On the E Street entrance to the Elizabethton/Carter County Library there is a much bigger “little” library designed for bigger people, where books can be swapped.
A Little Free Library is basically a box of books, somewhat resembling a mailbox, where anyone can take or drop off a book, return it to any other location, or pass it along to a friend to read. It’s one of those little blessings along paths our daily steps take us.
Unlike traditional libraries, these typically small structures aren’t buildings where people check out books from a librarian. It’s a box full of books that, when you find one, you can take a book home with you. Or if you have a book to share, you can leave it for someone else to read.
It’s a great opportunity to encourage reading. And if you are walking by one of these little libraries, you can stop, browse through the available books, and borrow one if you like. The book can then be returned later, or you can replace it with another book. Or, if you are like most of us, you have spare books laying around your house. Why not load them up — a few at a time — and take it to one of the Little Free Libraries.
You can still borrow books for free even when public libraries are closed.
Little Free Libraries were started in 2009 in Wisconsin as a way to promote literacy and foster a sense of community. Through small grants, information partnerships and donations, they grew to more than 400 locations in the U.S. in the first year, and today there are more than 100,000 registered Little Free Libraries sharing boxes in 108 countries worldwide.
That these Little Free Libraries have taken hold in the age of online everything is a remarkable development.
There is also a free mini food pantry at a couple of locations in the city, which those in need can take an item from the cabinet…or you can place a can or non-perishable package of food inside. It’s a pantry where you can take what you need, and give what you can. This, too, is a great idea as there are many homeless in our community.
These are just two ideas that makes a community more neighborly, more giving, and we are glad both can be found in Elizabethton.
We often hear that it’s the little things that count. That’s because they add up to bigger things that can make life better for others.
It also can inspire us to do other little things that can grow into bigger things, such as making it a practice to give out compliments; opening the door for others, which is common courtesy; being patient while waiting in line at the grocery store; and taking time for an older person, who is not able to get out.
An elderly neighbor shared that on Sunday she forgot to put her hearing aids in before she went to church. When the preacher began his sermon, she mentioned to the good friend that was sitting beside her that she had forgotten and left her hearing aids at home, and was unable to hear the message. The friend without hesitation took one of her hearing aids from her ear and gave it to the lady to use. That’s what you call kindness and a giving spirit.
Again, It’s the little things that count — little libraries, little food pantries, and little kindnesses.

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