Even a pebble makes a ripple

Published 2:42 pm Saturday, May 12, 2012

When the tragic news of a teenager ending her life hit us last weekend, I can’t imagine anyone not emitting an audible or silent sob. The horror of such an event will never be forgotten for the family, friends and community. It should, however, offer us all an opportunity to reflect on our individual and community efforts and actions.

“First, do no harm.” This is part of an oath that some physicians take upon graduating from years of study and residency. Do no harm. It seems so basic. Don’t do things that will harm others.

Most people would never think of doing anything that would bring harm to others. And yet, there are those who think nothing of harming others as a routine part of their daily lives.

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Robert Kennedy made reference to the pebble being tossed into the center of a pond. He noted that the ripples continued from the source of the action. The ripples continued onward into infinity.

I would like us to pause here and reflect on the impact of our individual actions. We have a tremendous opportunity to promote acts of kindness that will travel not only to those in our households and community, but beyond, to affect our country and the international and human community that we all are, ultimately connected to, and a part of.

These efforts need not be grandiose. They can be as small as smiling at someone or saying thank you to the clerk at the grocery store, or helping a stranger holding a sign at an intersection displaying his humbled and desperate status. The point is, we all have the opportunity to reverse unkind actions by participating and promoting kind acts.

Unkind acts can kill people. Do we really want to be a part of a community that does not take a stand against bullying, harassment and other unkind acts? I’m not saying get out in the streets and march. I’m saying, that we each can do something every day to reverse the negative ripple effect of unkind acts.

Throw that pebble into the pond with an act of kindness to someone in your family or in your community or to a complete stranger. Just do it. Your act of kindness will have the ripple effect to make a change. You can count on it. Little acts of kindness do indeed travel. Pay it forward for humanity with acts of kindness.

Yuri Justin

Albert Lea