Ripples on the Pond (aka the ripple effect)
When originally written – this was a two part piece of prose. I will do my best to combine the two pieces into one:
I had an experience recently which got me thinking about ripples in a pond, or the ripple effect we each have on untold persons lives.
I was walking to work and a gentleman walking the other direction says to me “Hey! You’re going the wrong way!” Confused I asked what he meant. His response was that usually I get off the bus further down the road, in the direction I was headed. I laughed and explained that I’d just moved so I was walking to work now rather than taking the bus. We both laughed and went on our way. The odd thing about this encounter is that I didn’t recognize this man. I am usually a very observant person, I look at everyone, notice things about people such as faces, body language, behavior patterns, but this gentleman had me stymied! I knew from the conversation that he obviously rode the same bus as me quite frequently yet I had never noticed him.
This encounter got me thinking about all the people that we don’t notice whom we have an effect on. It made me realize that my every action or even inaction is quite likely being observed by countless unknown people. What a huge concept that is to absorb.
I started thinking about my life as a whole, all the numbers of people that me living my life has had an impact on. Some I know about, some I dont. This made me begin to wonder if the impact I have on others is a GOOD impact or a BAD impact. Most likely it’s both. It also made me wonder how big of an impact I’ve had on people I don’t know, or even those I do. This thought process made me want to be a better person, be more friendly, more open, more outgoing, more loving.
Next I started thinking about all the people who’ve had an impact on me, whether they knew it or not, whether they even knew I existed or not. We all walk through this life most often absorbed in our own little bubble worlds, unaware of those around us except our most intimate friends and family members. And yet, like bubbles in a glass, these bubble worlds of ours colide with others constantly, destroying some bubbles while creating other ones.
I’m grateful for this new heightened awareness I gained as a result of my encounter and will strive to be more aware of the effect I have on others.
After writing the orginal piece I had some additional thoughts about which I wanted to share. I was speaking with a friend last night about friends and groups of friends and how they interact with each other, and it made me think again about the ripples in the pond or bubbles in a glass analogy.
Take for example my circle of friends. As we move through life and interact with each other our circles of friends collide with other circles of friends. Sometimes this can destroy existing groups while at the exact same moment it can create new groups.
This same effect can be seen on a global scale. Civilizations meeting, colliding, in some cases entire civilizations are destroyed while in other cases entirely new civilizations are created. Look at the native peoples in many lands when new explorers first come. America is a perfectly prime example of this happening.
Interestingly enough the same effect can be seen on a universal scale as well! Planets, comets, suns, and often times entire solar systems and galaxies are found to be colliding into each other, obliterating the existing systems and creating entirely new ones.
It seems to me this is actually a circle of birth, growth, interaction, death and re-birth. It happens over and over again from a very miniscule scale to a universal scale and is fascinating to me.