The ripple effect

photo by Snap®
There’s an interesting discussion that has been brewing at another blog that I regularly read.  Writer Dad first spoke of an incident he was involved in here, naturally lots of comments followed, then he continued with this post and even more comments followed.

It lead me to question something that was embedded in a comment, although I can’t find the exact one, now.  That one person cannot bring about change, so why bother?
Seriously?  There are plenty of examples in history where one person started something that caught on and brought about change.  Jesus, Muhammad, Ghandi, MLK Jr., Susan B. Anthony, Jim Jones and Mother Theresa are all examples that just popped into my head.  I’m sure if I were to dig deep in the annals of the internet, I would find dozens upon dozens of names of people who have changed something around them because of their actions or their words – both positive and negative.
What about on the small scale?  Have you ever read something or heard something that someone said that caused you to stop and think for a moment?  Have you ever had a conversation with someone that caused you to change your views – or at least reconsider them – about something?  Maybe you saw a pastor speak at a service and whatever they had to say resonated with you so much that you had to go and do something about it.  Suppose you saw someone on the side of the road with a flat and because you helped them change a tire, they were able to get to the hospital to visit a dying friend.  You know that homeless person standing there holding a sign on the corner of the intersection?  Suppose you gave him/her a bottle of water on a hot day.  I have a friend that keeps a case of water bottles in her car for such instances.  And parents have unbelievable ripple effects on their children, so many they can’t possibly know them all.
The point of all this is that it is absolutely impossible for one person to NOT cause changes in their environment.  It’s a ripple effect.  What I do today will cause changes around me.  Maybe it’s a small change.  Maybe it’s a big change.  Maybe I’ll never know, but when I toss that pebble out there, there will be ripples and they will spread.  
Can you honestly say that one person can’t bring about changes?  In Writer Dad’s case, that has yet to be seen.  But even if the vandal chooses to just go to a different stop sign instead of quitting altogether, change still occurred and one person caused it.  Or maybe someone who witnessed the incident decides that he/she will stand up the next time.  Maybe it’s just as simple as someone who saw it told it to someone else and that started a chain reaction.
Remember that what you do today can and will cause a ripple effect.  Are you tossing a good pebble or a bad pebble and just how big will those ripples be?

8 thoughts on “The ripple effect

  1. I don’t think, in my life, someone has referenced my words in such a way. To my knowledge, a discussion has never left Writer Dad to grow in another garden. Thank you. I’m flattered and touched.

  2. Writer Dad,
    That is a huge compliment coming from you – thank you! You’ve often written about things that I could carry over here, but this one just really struck a chord with me. Thanks for doing what you do.

  3. I think words have immense power. I read a line in a book once, and it fundamentally shifted the way that I talk about myself. “We become the stories we tell about ourselves.” Michael Cunningham wrote that in A Home At the End of the World. I think he is right.

  4. Bridge, that is so true! An immediate example that comes to mind with that is how we talk to our children. If we constantly tell them negative things, they begin to become those things.

  5. Oh yes…I’d like to believe that each of us can do our part in loving, healing and taking responsibility, then that would have contributed to a lifting of group consciousness.

    I’ve read WriterDad’s post too. He sure is brave and has a strong message to tell!

  6. Hi Evelyn,
    Thanks for visiting! Your comment is so true, but it’s sad to know that so many people don’t. It would be nice if we all could.

    You’re absolutely right about WD. There’s no way I could have done what he did.

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