The image of dropping a stone into a body of water has been used throughout time to illustrate The Butterfly Effect – or the ripples it causes. There has been a spotlight in the last couple of years on the concept of “paying it forward.” But what does all this mean?
We have no idea how many people our actions touch. The ripples in the water represent not only those people that we know we’re influencing (the rings in the center), but the folks that we would never guess we affect (the outer rings). For example, Jean decided to clean out her closet and donate her used clothing to a charity that helps clothe indigent women. The clothes arrive at the charity and get assigned to various women. The volunteer who helps each woman feels good about her work. Her client, Bess, looks in the mirror and, for the first time, sees someone who has confidence. Bess goes on a job interview and the interviewer thinks she is very professional looking. The mail guy, Mike, is doing his rounds and catches Bess’s eye. He asks her out after her interview and she says yes. They successfully date for a year and then get engaged. So, to hit this point home, Jean thought she was just donating clothes when really, indirectly, she helped two people find each other.
Keep in mind that the ripples from our words and actions go far. Be selective about what you say and do. Choose words of kindness and encouragement (especially when using self-talk). Do positive things, from helping a single person to changing the world. Always put your best foot forward because you never know whom you will touch in those outer ripples!
P.S. Happy Birthday to my Daddy! You’re still awesome!! – Stacey