Which is not the same as doing them secretively. Just don’t bruit about any wonderfulness about you for doing them. Let the little things you do do your talking for you.
Morally, do the little things quietly (but not secretively), also; let your efforts speak for themselves. I’m writing here, though, about practical politics, and two examples illustrate the matter: Obamacare and efforts at managing climate change.
Recall that Obamacare was an effort to redo a sixth of our economy in Government’s name, for our own good: a big thing. It also was highly controversial, the Democrats made a big deal out of how wonderful they were for doing this. And it was, and is, universally hated. Except for the Republicans’ efforts here. Undoing Obamacare is as big a deal as doing it, and the Republicans are making a big deal out of how wonderful they are for working to undo it. And their efforts are not at all popular, either.
Notice: both parties spent/are spending as much, if not more, energy on their virtue signaling as they did/are on the actual effort. The outcomes were disasters for the Democrats in Congress, the White House, and in state and local governments.
Look, too, at climate change. Dawn Wilson, a purchaser and customer relations manager (currently between jobs) in Roseville, MI, had some thoughts.
Of Clinton having a campaign office here—only to skip visiting the struggling working-class manufacturing town and send in Hollywood surrogates Ted Danson and his wife Mary Steenburgen, who scolded voters about climate change—she is sardonic:
Your message and your optics are everything when you are trying to persuade people to buy something from you or vote for you. Does this look like somewhere that needs to be schooled on climate change?
Never mind that what mattered to the folks in Rosemont, and everywhere else in the US throughout the failed Obama recovery, was the immediacy of their economic well-being, whether they would be able to keep their job—Wilson was fired after 17 years in her job—or having lost their job, whether they would be able to get another. After all, at the time of the election campaigns throughout last year, the average time out of work, for those who hadn’t given up altogether, still was measured in severals of months, not the few weeks that’s typical of a normal recovery.
Yet the Democrats made lots of noise about their importance to preventing future climate problem of questionable likelihood and of no immediacy in the minds of voters, and made little noise at all—and so no effort at all, at least perceptually, about solving that today problem of voters.
As the Washington Examiner put it,
For the Clinton campaign to send Hollywood liberals here in the closing days of the race to preach about climate change was tone deaf on a Guinness record-level.
Like a shoe maker says: just do it.