Blog / 2022 / Every Little Thing

June 6, 2022

People have no trouble imagining a scenario in which they go back in time, change one little thing, and have a massive effect on the future. But when those same people try to envision how every little thing they do today impacts what’s to come, the leap is harder to make.

As an enthusiastic little-thing-doer, this observation struck me as particularly poignant at this tense moment in world history, when traditionalists everywhere are asserting power, murdering the planet, and gobbling up our freedoms. It also tickled me more than a little to come across this observation on Mastodon, an open-source community-owned social networking site that I joined a few weeks ago.

Mastodon burst onto the free culture scene in 2016, right around the time that the Zuckerverse et al stopped showing posts chronologically and whipped up their demented algorithms to tell you what to be interested in.

I didn’t join the non-corporate platform then because I was pretty sure that one more social media account would be my brain’s undoing, but after quitting Facebook and Instagram a few years ago and, more recently, hearing from a friend about Mastodon, I decided to take another look.

At this point, Mastodon isn’t exactly my new bestie. My tolerance for rude social network behavior has gone way down since I deleted the Zuckerverse, so when one of’s moderators followed me, waited for me to follow them, and then unfollowed me, figuring out the “mute” option became imperative.

Still, I’m enjoying much of the conversation, as witnessed by the observation noted at the top, and Mastodon is helping me to feel like quitting Twitter might be okay.

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Sharing about an anti-algorithm and ad-free social networking site is a little thing. Same for eating plant-based foods and recycling as much as possible. And putting my art in the public domain and being out despite my ability to pass as straight are little things too.

All those are tiny choices, just like painting this pelican was, both because every painting is a little thing I do and because this particular painting was a gift for someone who supports my art on Patreon.

pelican perched on a rock, illustration in acrylic on canvas
Gwenn Seemel
acrylic on unmounted canvas
15 x 11 inches

My little life is full of little things, but their littleness doesn’t make them small to me. It makes them feel achievable. And when I add up all the tiny choices, I see clearly that my life has an impact. I may not know how it will all shake out down the line, but the little things I do make me feel powerful.

It’s a feeling I’d like everyone to know—and not just in time travel books or movies.

pelican painting by Gwenn Seemel
detail image of Pelican

Pelican already has a forever home, but you can check out all currently available artworks. There are prints and pretty things with this image here in my print shop.

Maybe this post made you think of something you want to share with me? Or perhaps you have a question about my art? I’d love to hear from you!


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