Just a drop in the bucket….
Last fall, I caught myself using this phrase.
“It’s just a drop in the bucket….” meaning it will barely make a difference compared to what is needed.
I have no recollection of what I was thinking about or what conversation might have prompted this metaphor. I imagine I have used and read this idiom without thinking twice countless times in my life.
But on that day last fall, something prompted me to wonder about the drop. Maybe it caught my attention because so often I feel like my contribution is a drop in the bucket. I will confess that my natural channel tunes into ‘could’ve done more, should’ve been better’.
Curiosity compelled to further explororation, I pulled out my phone. “How many atoms are in a drop of water?”
.…a drop of water is 1.5 sextillion molecules OR 5 sextillion atoms…
Sextillion is 21 zeroes. Twenty One.
Since then, I have kept this image as my phone background to remind myself that maybe it’s just a drop, but there can be a whole lot of substance in that one drop.
I dare you: Take three minutes to study a drop of water. Either drip drop it on your counter, or suspend it from a medicine dropper. You are looking at 1.5 sextillion molecules. You are holding 5 sextillion atoms.
May wonders never cease.
(To read more about the math, go here.)