Quite some time ago, perhaps a year or two, I found myself rather frustrated at the apparent state of the world in which we live. Economic downturns, political bickering, global conflicts, and society’s apparent obsession with celebrity, material wealth, and petty “reality television” drama left me with the feeling that our planet was hopelessly caught in a downward spiral—much like the one that results when the handle is pushed down on a toilet.
It wasn’t too long afterward, however, that a sequence of unexpected events changed my point of view (and that’s a whole other story). Along with this change in attitude, I began to take ownership in the creation of the kind of future I wished to see. I decided I would start changing the world—even if I had to do it all by myself!
I know what you must be thinking, because at the time, I was thinking it myself. How could a regular guy like me possibly change a world that’s populated by more than 7 billion people?
I began to think about others in history who had made a difference. I thought about Abraham Lincoln, Alexander Graham Bell, and Rosa Parks. I thought about countless others, like Wilbur and Orville Wright, Mahatma Ghandi, and Mother Theresa. Weren’t they people too, just like you and me? Of course! These individuals became famous for their extraordinary impact on our world, but if they could bring about such positive change, why couldn’t I? Why couldn’t you? For that matter, why couldn’t anyone?
There’s no question that every little thing we do—no matter how small we may perceive it to be, changes the world in some way. If we could only put more thought and a little bit of daily effort into making the world a better place, we might be surprised at how quickly things change. As if struck by lightning, I felt like I suddenly knew the secret. We just need to start with ourselves and do it—one good deed at a time!*
So let’s think about that for a moment. Suppose you’re walking down the sidewalk and you pick up and properly dispose of a piece of trash that someone carelessly tossed away. Several people see this and are inspired to do the same thing later in the day. Several more people see these people behaving selflessly and they decide to do the same—and so on, and so on, and so on.
A good deed might be as simple as offering a nod and a friendly smile to someone passing by. It could be a kind word of encouragement or an unexpected compliment to a coworker. Perhaps it’s a small gesture of respect—like holding a door for someone, turning the car stereo down a notch or two at a stoplight, or letting a harried mother and her infant go ahead of you in line at the grocery store. Or it might even be something helpful—like helping someone carry groceries or change a flat tire. We might not realize it, but all these little things have a “ripple effect”—just like the tiny ripples that form and spread when a stone is tossed into still water. Each good deed touches another human being, who touches another, who touches another, and so on.
Just imagine how much better things would be if everyone did just one nice thing for someone else each day! Even better, what if everyone made it their habit to do more and more kind, respectful things for others every day? War, poverty, and hunger might cease to exist, as well as pollution, crime, and all forms of abuse. Now those are some changes I think we can all appreciate!
So please don’t think for even one single minute that “common”, ordinary people like you or me can’t change the world—because, in fact, we can. If we all work together, each in his or her own, unique way, perhaps all our “ripples” will build the waves that shape a brilliant, new future.
Who knows? We may even be able to create an entirely new kind of world—and wouldn’t that be nice?
Please feel free to redistribute, repost, or otherwise share this post, providing it is credited to https://rememberinginfinity.wordpress.com.
* Some may be interested to note that, after I wrote this sentence in my rough notes, I just “happened” to glance up at the clock. I wasn’t too surprised to see that it read 11:11 (that kind of thing has been happening more and more to me lately). I guess it’s just another of those synchronistic events to show us that we’re never truly alone!