Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Power of a Single Pebble

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” ~Mother Teresa

James W. Foley once said that if you throw a small pebble in the water it will disappear out of sight as soon as it breaks the surface, yet the ripples it creates will continue to spread outward from the center. You can disturb a mighty river just by dropping in a stone.

If you drop an unkind word, it disappears quickly, but its impact will create ripples nobody had expected. Once they begin to spread it is almost impossible to stop them. You can disturb a life that was happy just by dropping an unkind word.

If you drop a word of kindness or cheer, it will also disappear in a flash, but the ripples that spread from the center will continue to grow, and soon you will be amazed at the power of such a simple word.

Since I was little, my mother made it a big deal to properly teach me how important words are. “Words have power” she often said, and she diligently corrected my sister and I each time we said anything unkind to someone. In her opinion, apologies are nothing more than a band-aid over a bullet wound – why not think ahead and prevent the shooting rather than using the same energy to stop the bleeding?

In so many ways, hurtful words can be one of the worst weapons known to mankind, as a broken person is easy to manipulate and control. Similarly, words can enable a love affair between an individual and the rest of the world, if the gift of expression is used to empower and enlighten others.

We can’t expect a domino effect of love and kindness unless we become a part of that change ourselves. Every drop added to a bottle counts toward the bottle getting filled – we can’t control the actions of others, but we are certainly in charge of the differences WE can make.

We can make a conscious choice of shifting the currents today, by committing to ONE act of random kindness. Imagine if each person in this world was to do that today – the energy of all the seemingly unimportant acts of kindness would come together to create an overwhelming and powerful change.

We all can do something. We all can make a difference, regardless of our social status, financial availability or state of existence. And it all starts with throwing a pebble of kindness into the waters of life.

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