THE RIPPLE EFFECT
I recently experienced tremendous kindness from complete strangers. It affected me in such an incredible way that it influenced the topic of this week. We would love to think that we are 100% in control of our emotions, but little do we realise what affect others have on us and what affect we have on them. It is like the ripple circles that forms when you throw a pebble into a pond. The water shifts and changes and it will never be able to go back to exactly the same way as it was previously. Never mind the ripple circles on the surface, even the impact of the deeper water shifts and changes without you even realising. And that is the same way that it works in our lives, all the influences and affects that we are not even sure where the origin was.
It is believed that an act can go through three degrees of separation. This means that it not only affects you, the ones directly around you, but it also affects others who you have never met and who were not involved in the initial act.
I am sitting here thinking about those wonderful videos of people and organizations who record and share their acts of kindness on social media. Yes, some might think that those people should not record their kind acts as it seems like they are showing off and humiliating those who are being helped. In fact, I do not think that that is most of these people’s objective. It is proven though, that by sharing acts of kindness the chances of kindness spreading are much more likely if it is shared on social media as others are then more likely to go out to try and replicate those acts of kindness. Unfortunately, just as acts of kindness are contagious, so are acts of aggression and anger.
It might not be a good time to talk about contagious viruses, but it is my hope that we can spread the virus of compassion, positiveness and kindness and find a vaccine against aggression and negatives. I hope that we can all cause ripples with our kind words, actions and feelings and witness how they affect those around us, who affect other individuals who come into contact with them and grow forth so that it can even affect strangers in complete different settings and circumstances. Remember, you will not have control over the ripples, how far the influence spreads or how others interpret your kindness or the kindness of others. All you can do is allowing the ripples to flow and have their effect. Who knows, if you give yourself a chance, you can become part of the unbreakable chain of love, kindness and caring.
It is important though, to remember that kindness and love starts with yourself. You cannot fully love others if you do not love yourself. You cannot expect others to value you if you do not value yourself and you cannot expect or ask someone else not to speak ill of you if you speak ill of others. You need to be willing to transform and truly get to know yourself. Only then will you be able to throw the first pebble of kindness honestly and authentically into a life-pond that really craves positiveness and kindness. Start by being kind to yourself. Nurture positiveness in your life and try to surround yourself with as much positivity as possible. Get some quality sleep and practise deep breathing regularly. Invest wisely in your time as it is the most valuable commodity, therefore, limit the time that you spend with negative people and situations.
We often hear about miracles that happened. Some we can explain and others not. Unfortunately, I cannot help you with the ones that we cannot explain, but here is my take on the miracles that we can explain. You do not have to wait for a miracle to just happen. You can be the instigator; you can be the pebble that gets thrown into a situation where change needs to happen. You can make the first move towards a miracle in the making. You do not have to make a grand gesture or do something amazing to initiate the ripple. The smallest action can sometimes change the world for other people and all we can hope, is for the circles of compassion to grow and expand. It might be uncomfortable being pushed out of your comfort zone, but with love, selflessness, compassion, joy, kindness and respect we can make a tremendous and positive impact on the lives of others and who knows, we might even learn, grow and benefit emotionally from the experience as well.
This must be the shortest blog that I have ever written. There are no tricks, tips, or guides on how to start the ripple effect. That depends on your surroundings, demands, needs, and resources. All I can ask is for you to give it a try. See how your actions can positively influence the lives, experiences and observations of others. Notice how your actions influences you and your outlook on life. You do not have to work with charities to make a difference, although I will never discourage anyone from working with charities. If you see a need, work on a plan, take action and be the change. Be the pebble in the pond of life.
If you do find that you are witnessing situations that are harmful to others or where others are putting themselves or others in danger, please do not put yourself in the middle if you do not have the right training, protection and knowledge. Reach out to organisations, charities and institutions for help and guidance and take the opportunity to learn from them. Remember, by seeking help on behalf of others is also a start to the ripple effect. You are not alone and there is always a hand of support reaching out to you.
As always, I like to end my blog with a quote or two and the following really enforces what I am trying to say in this blog. The first one if from Deepak Chopra saying “We are ripples of consciousness of the vast ocean of consciousness. If we get agitated and become part of the reactionary and vitriolic behaviour sometimes around us, we will only add to the disturbance.” and this one from Gabrielle Bernstein who said “Own your joy so that you can be happier and bring more energy to the world. That ripple effect works on a quantum level. It brings about changes in the world.”. As a little bonus, here is an extra quote from Victor Webber who said, “Everything we do, even the slightest thing we do, can have a ripple effect and repercussions that emanate. If you throw a pebble into the water on one side of the ocean, it can create a tidal wave on the other side.”.
As a reminder, GEM Mental Health Therapy and Coaching has decided to offer Skype Video Calls, WhatsApp Calls and WhatsApp Video Chats in order to reach as many people as possible. I have also decided to incorporate Counselling via Email, which seems a bit unorthodox, but some clients do not have the freedom and privacy to discuss heart matters in the enclosed environment that they find themselves in at this time. Please do not hesitate to reach out so that we can work together on your mental health as we face these challenging times.
Thank you very much for reading my blog. I truly hope that it helped somebody, somewhere. Please send any feedback or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org and remember to have a look out for a new blog every week.