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Dear President Trump:

In today’s Daily Lectionary readings, a young boy shares his lunch of five barley loaves and two fish with Jesus, who turns it into a feast that feeds a large crowd. (John 6:1-15) The psalmist writes: “The Lord is faithful in all his words, and gracious in all his deeds.” (Psalm 145:13)

Sharing a lunch, keeping one’s word, being gracious in how we treat others. These are seemingly small acts that can yield big results.


Like tiny drops of freezing rain, our small acts have the potential to create great beauty or destruction. Photo by Howard Zehr

In Trump: The Art of the Deal, you write frequently about big deals that began with a simple phone call or reaching out.

Here are some small acts that could produce big results for your presidency:

  • Once a month host a weekend retreat for a mix of Democratic and Republican leaders. Focus on building relationships. Invite each person to share his or her dreams for the country.
  • Once a week Tweet a word of congratulations to one of your opponents. Surprise them with a random act of kindness.
  • Visit with a small group of Syrian refugees. Listen to their stories of why they fled their homes.
  • Visit with a group or undocumented immigrants to hear why they came to the United States. What are their dreams? How are they investing in this country?
  • Invite Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to Camp David for a conversation about the mutual interests of the United States and Iran.

The late American abolitionist Harriet Beecher Stowe once reflected: “To be really great in little things, to be truly noble and heroic in the insipid details of everyday life, is a virtue so rare as to be worthy of canonization.”

More than we might think, it is the small things done well that can change the world.


J. Daryl Byler