the scheme of things

in the (grand) scheme of things

In the long term; in the complete picture of something. I know you're worried about getting a bad grade on this test, but you're such a great student that I doubt it will matter in the grand scheme of things.
See also: of, scheme, thing

the scheme of things

the organization of things in general; the way the world is.
See also: of, scheme, thing

the/somebody’s ˈscheme of things

the way the world and other things are or seem to be organized: Low-paid workers like us don’t have a very important place in the scheme of things.Don’t worry too much about your exam results; they’re not really important in the great scheme of things.
See also: of, scheme, thing
References in classic literature ?
The man looked curiously about him on all sides, as one who among familiar surroundings is unable to determine his exact place and part in the scheme of things. It is so, perhaps, that we shall act when, risen from the dead, we await the call to judgment.
They occupied an intermediate place in the scheme of things, and they were to be watched in case they did not keep their place.
In addition, the persecution he had suffered from the pack had made the pack less to him in the scheme of things, and man more.
It was entirely owing to this deficiency in the scheme of things that Arthur had ever brought any one into trouble besides himself.
He was a recognised part of the scheme of things on the "We're Here"; had his place at the table and among the bunks; and could hold his own in the long talks on stormy days, when the others were always ready to listen to what they called his "fairy-tales" of his life ashore.
From an acute consciousness of herself as an individual, Mary passed to a conception of the scheme of things in which, as a human being, she must have her share.
That a creature made--in a genealogical sense--out of a man's rib, and in this particular case maintained in the highest respectability without any trouble of her own, should be normally in a state of contradiction to the blandest propositions and even to the most accommodating concessions, was a mystery in the scheme of things to which he had often in vain sought a clew in the early chapters of Genesis.
He was charmed to see me, said he had been shedding delicious tears of joy and sympathy at intervals for six weeks on my account, had never been so happy as in hearing of my progress, began to understand the mixture of good and evil in the world now, felt that he appreciated health the more when somebody else was ill, didn't know but what it might be in the scheme of things that A should squint to make B happier in looking straight or that C should carry a wooden leg to make D better satisfied with his flesh and blood in a silk stocking.
Like a simple American citizen beduking himself in his lodge, or affirming his consequence in the Scheme of Things as an elemental unit of a parade.
Even the individuals became less watchful and alert, so that one might have thought Numa and Sabor and Sheeta entirely deleted from the scheme of things. The shes and the balus roamed unguarded through the sullen jungle, while the greedy males foraged far afield, and thus it was that Teeka and Gazan, her balu, hunted upon the extreme southern edge of the tribe with no great male near them.
It was idle, he knew, to get between a fool and his folly; while two or three fools more or less would not alter the scheme of things.
jobs report last Friday and expectations for a strong corporate earnings season have been buoying equities, and while the shift toward trade protectionism remains at the top of the worry list of investors, the level of implemented tariffs so far is small in the scheme of things. BoJ Governor Kuroda yesterday repeated that the central bank will remain committed to ultra-accommodative monetary policy, including yield-curve control, until inflation hits the 2% target.
" We don't matter in the scheme of things but we can make things happier and better," he said.
This is a small issue in the scheme of things but an annoyance nonetheless.