Have you ever thrown a rock into a pool of water and watched the ripples that run through the surface. The lines of the ripple go on for quite some time. It’s mesmerizing to watch. Even after we are no longer able to see these ripples they are still travelling through the water, sometimes all the way to the other shore line.
The same is true when we throw something through the air, the air moves and the ripples continue on, possibly for infinity. I believe our words have the same effect. They travel through so many.
The ripple effect is a powerful occurrence and in the context of this blog it means that any action, or inaction that we take has an effect on things going on in our lives, and other lives as well.
When I was studying meditation I was taught that everything we do has a ripple effect on all the things around us. They can be positive or they can be negative. We must decide how we want the ripples to influence others.
Just contemplating our actions or in-actions before we move forward can influence us to do better, be better, and to help others or to be mean, hateful, and hurtful.
Have you ever had someone say something terrible to you. Think about the ripple effect that might have occurred. You probably felt hurt. You might have treated someone else badly, treated that person badly, and went home to your family, and then treated them all badly. All because someone did something to you. Do you see the ripple effect one thing can have on our lives.
I’m going to talk about the comedian who cried out to the public that he was attacked, called racist and homophobic names, and was left with a rope around his neck somewhere on the streets.
I was horrified. I was sickened that such a thing could occur. And I felt such sadness for him believing how terrible he must have felt after such a thing happening. Did I mention there was anger too. Oh yes, anger at those who did those awful deeds.
Now take those feelings and imagine the ripple effect they had on everyone who heard his story. I am only one person but there were millions to hear this story. Millions of people standing around in disbelief of such a thing happening to such a nice person. At his next stand up he talked about how he was going to make it through it and thanked his fans. Oh what a martyr he was for all the black people of the world. What a martyr he was for all the gays. Oh what a sad little person he was to stand up and lie to those who believed in him.
What do you suppose were the ripple effects to the story he made up? How many people became angry and treated another human being poorly? How many threw angry words at others because this nice person was assaulted and called names. How many turned against others in the name of this comedian? That is the ripple effect I am concerned with. What ripple has this person created? The ripple effect is a powerful tool that can be used for good, or for bad. We decide through the actions we take.
I will say here that I feel sorry that he felt he had to create such a terrible story to get the love and attention he obviously so desperately needed. I am sorry that he felt he had to use words of hate to gain the attention he so craved from the world. I hope that he seeks help for these feelings of inadequacy. I hope that he apologizes to those who believed in him, believed his story, and I hope he apologizes to anyone who may have been harmed due to his fabrication.
I was married for many years to a man that was the exact polar opposite of me. Once the honeymoon phase was over we clashed at every turn. He was messy, I was a neat freak. We just got on each others nerves because we expected the other to be what we thought they should be. Our bad behaviors rippled out battering against each other all the time.
Need I say there was tension in the air. Need I say my children were affected. In my own righteous way I felt that ” he needed to change or else.” But that was not what needed to be done. It was I who needed to change. It was I who needed to change how I was reacting to the world. And it was I who affected a change just by changing my attitude of what our relationship should be.
Once I came to understand the ripple effect, and realized that the only one I could change was myself, our life got better. As I changed my behavior to my husband his behavior changed as well. As I became a calmer, less demanding person, he became a calmer more compliant person. All because I changed how I was reacting to what was going on around me.
So too this ripple effect can affect your life. If you send out bad, negative feelings and words, they will ripple through so many who will follow through with their own negative ripples as well.
In order to effect change we must be who we expect others to be. We must be the kind of person who makes each encounter with another a good thing, not a bad event. We must remember that what we do and say will run through all those who come in contact with us and stir up good or evil.
You decide what affect you want the ripple to have on the world. Right now the ripples are pretty toxic. We must change what is carrying that ripple through to others. We must change ourselves. And we must forgive.
I forgive that comedian for stirring up hatred against others. I forgive him that he tried to turn others against each other in his need for adulation. Let us learn from him how our words and deeds can affect others. Let us turn to each other with a kind word, do a kind deed, and watch the ripples flow through the universe in a good way, not a bad way. And as I always say ” have a great day today, you deserve it.