Measuring The Ripple Effect

“Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.”

— Scott Adams

Unbelievably nice weather on the Oregon coast drew our family out to create a few ripples.

Seaside, Oregon ripples

While the kids built a throne out of sand, my wife walked in the surf. Just looking, listening, and laughing. Sand dollar shells littered the beach-scape. Sea gulls trotted along side us. And with every step, the ripple of waves lapped at our heels.

Along the ocean, the ripples are omnipresent – an endless undulating that blends together to create irresistible sounds, smells, and feelings. Every wave in the ocean creates a ripple, which cascades into other ripples – either magnifying or canceling them – but always making an impact.

Everything we say or do has a ripple effect. Every action makes an impact – either magnifying something or canceling it out. But seeing the long range effect of those ripples is hard.

A firefighter pours on more water and cancels the fire, but can’t see all the homeless families that have a place to stay because the shelter didn’t burn to the ground. A painter pours on additional paint, magnifying his masterpiece, but can’t see the impact his painting has on generations of admirers. A father can pick up and hold his crying daughter close, but won’t be there to see that little girl pick up and hold her crying own grandchild.

Just because we can’t see or measure the effects of our ripples, doesn’t mean we’re not making an impact. Every act of kindness, every small gift of time, every intent to help when acted upon has an effect.

The effect of a far reaching ripple.

Yesterday’s gift of time … Wrote a post card to my adopted soldier … and took our family to the beach. We’ll probably never see the effects of the ripples we made today.

About Eric Winger

Our perception of time is key to how we use our time. The most fundamental way to change that perception is to give our time. This opens us up to new opportunities and ideas from which we can build to really make a difference. ... Yes, we *do* have time to make a difference!
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