Music & the Spoken Word: Small gestures of kindness

‘There is something we can do to feel a little better about the world and about life,’ Derrick Porter observes in this week’s ‘Spoken Word’

Editor’s note: “The Spoken Word” is shared by Derrick Porter each Sunday during the weekly Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square broadcast. This was originally presented by Lloyd Newell on Aug. 6, 2017. This will be given Sunday, July 7, 2024.

It’s been said that the little things are the big things. This applies to many aspects of life, but especially to the small courtesies, the little acts of kindness that end up making a big difference. Truly, from the small and simple comes that which is great. It happens when a seedling is nurtured and grows into a strong tree, and it happens when little kindnesses help people blossom and grow. It’s one of the most important ways we can make a difference in the world.

And certainly, there are things about the world that we wish were different. We see conflict and even war, and we wonder how things will ever improve. In this respect, our day isn’t unique — those who went before us faced times that were challenging and difficult too. But that doesn’t mean the situation is hopeless. There is something we can do to feel a little better about the world and about life. And it doesn’t have to be something grand or dramatic. Sometimes even the most complicated problems have surprisingly simple solutions.

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When the world seems to spin out of control, we can do our part to “try to stem the madness,” as one columnist wrote. “It begins with simply caring,” she said, “by looking up from our cellphones and making eye contact; by asking neighbor about their day; thanking the service provider; doing favors without a scorecard; and sharing what we have with those in need. Sometimes a small gesture of kindness can change someone’s day — or life.” She continues, “If the cumulative effect of evil acts brings us down, mightn’t the cumulative effect of good deeds lift us up?” (“Sometimes a small gesture of kindness can change someone’s day — or life,” by Kathleen Parker, Deseret News, June 20, 2017.)

It’s simple, really. A sure way to begin feeling a little better about the world and our lives, a good way to truly make a difference in a troubled world, is to look around and do something good. The good we do matters, for the best way to drive away darkness is to turn on a light, even if it’s small. So, let’s do some good today — and tomorrow. And, before we know it, the world will become a better place.

Tuning in …

The “Music & the Spoken Word” broadcast is available on KSL-TV, KSL News Radio 1160AM/102.7FM,, BYUtv, BYUradio, Dish and DirecTV, SiriusXM (Ch. 143),, and Amazon Alexa (must enable skill). The program is aired live on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. Mountain Time on these outlets. Look up broadcast information by state and city at

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See the Church News’ archive of ‘Spoken Word’ messages
Derrick Porter’s 1st Sunday as the ‘Music & the Spoken Word’ announcer, plus see photos from the broadcast
Lloyd Newell reflects on nearly 35 years of sharing God’s love and hope with ‘Music & the Spoken Word’
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