“We’re all insignificant really, aren’t we Mum – in the big picture?”

The words of my melancholy College Boy last night before he went to bed.  It may have something to do with turning 17 or the fact that it’s parents’ evening on Thursday or just that sometimes the big picture is just too – big?

At the risk of being horribly philosophical first thing in the morning – and I’m sure this will have worn off by lunchtime – I don’t feel insignificant.  Not from an over-inflated ego point of view but from the stance that what I do – what we all do  – makes a difference.

I may get annoyed with the receptionists at the medical centre but for every person like me that they annoy, there are probably hundreds who go away happy with their appointment, their prescription, their sick note.

People are so suspicious about doing the right thing.  I did the right thing – as I saw it – the other night.  Didn’t take much effort – a quick phone call and a tweet.  I didn’t realise until the next day that my actions would be viewed with suspicion – because after all – why would you want to help someone who you don’t even know?

I don’t know who will be getting the benefit of my charity donations; like millions of others I donated to Sport Relief – partly because of John Bishop making me cry but also because my own life is comfortable and happy thank you very much.  I bought a daffodil from a lady collecting for Marie Curie, her hands were shaking and she didn’t look well at all.  How much less effort did it take from me to put some money in her collecting tin?

Everyday I work to help people who I’ll never meet, I get paid for it – not well but that’s local government for you – don’t believe what the private sector say about our perks I’m still waiting to see them after thirty odd years – tell a lie – I get 25 per cent off the price of the bus pass I use to get to work.

Time to go and do the job now – but my answer to my beautiful boy is –  No, we are not insignificant – big picture or small picture we still make a difference every day – we can’t solve all the big stuff but it’s the solving of the small stuff that is just as important and we all do that.

I’ll just have to regain this philosophical frame of mind when we turn up for parents’ evening on Thursday.

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