The Ripples Project

Okay, so some of you have seen this picture before. Today I want to focus in on the cards, go ahead and maximize the picture if you want, but this is what the card says: “You must be the change you wish to see in this world” -Mahatma Gandhi. After having posted for Fun Monday for several weeks, and blogging a while, I’ve realized that there are quite a few good people out there, no matter what it seems like the news is saying today. People who pay their taxes, teach their kids morals and cry when something awful happens to someone else-oh and then you post “I’m sorry” on their blog and suddenly you realize 20 strangers have reached out to someone having a bad day.

The idea of the Ripples Project started with a guy named Paul from Wisconsin. He is a motivational speaker and I heard him speak at a national conference for university and campus housing. You know, the dorms. Yup I was a geeky dorm leader in my past. Anyway, his premise is that you have more influence on the world than you think. That your world is like a smooth pond. Every tiny thing you do throws a stone into the pond and the resulting ripples fan out to the edges of the pond, sometimes the shore is close and the waves hit it hard, and sometimes the shore is far away and it merely laps the toes of those standing near. What have you done this week that has lapped the toes of those far away? What have you done that has radically changed the way that someone close to you thinks, feels, or operates? Even if it was by accident?

The quote from Gandhi ties in with Paul’s message, as do many of the quotes in his “quote pond“, on the title page it says “Explore the extraordinary power of tiny actions” – and I really believe this. That’s why I put thought into every gift I give, every blog entry I write, every word that comes out of my mouth. That’s why I send diaper coupons to my friends with babies and cards to acquaintances who are convalescing during an illness. That’s why when I hear uninformed injustice spewing from the mouths of seemingly coherent adults or children, I point them in another direction. What change do you want to see in this world? What kind of world do you want for future generations? How are you going to implement small changes in your pond so that their toes are gradually wet with good and not negative thoughts, and how are you going to rock the shores of your own little ocean so that a dramatic change takes place in your own life?

It’s all about the little things folks. Teaching your HUSBAND to say please and thank you, even at the dinner table with your kids will ROCK THEIR WORLD. Teaching them appreciation no matter whom they speak to (the waitress at a restaurant, the checker at Target, their grandparents) will influence how they in turn impact this world. How often have you had a door slam in your face because someone in front of you didn’t take 10 seconds to hold the door? Teach YOUR kids better. Teach your GRANDKIDS better. Teach your nieces and nephews better. Teach them appreciation and respect for other people. That more than voting, more than cleaning their room (although that’s appreciation in itself), or paying taxes, how they treat other people, and how they respect themselves, is what counts in this world. Teach them the golden rule for goodness sakes, that should be an all inclusive lesson that’s easy to remember.

What will their pond look like in the future? Will some random Target shopper be thrilled and tell their whole families that a couple of nice teenagers helped them load something heavy into their cart, or will they complain that they raced through the store, almost ran into them, and didn’t apologize? Oh and that they knocked over a display of merchandise and ran off without picking it up? What change do you wish to see in this world? What kind of pond do you want to foster for the next generation?


  1. Ripple effect is so very true.

    Great post. 😀

    Thanks for visiting my blog.
    I am always telling my kids, when they get married, I will tell their husband or wife(since I have a daughter and son). If you make them cry I will make you cry. 😀

  2. I quite agree. And, this totally ties in with the Random Acts of Kindness Week I mentioned in my 13. There is certainly lots of good going on out there in reality. I guess the media doesn’t think good sells. I’ll be thinking about this as I try to do the Random Acts.

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