Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Ripples

They say that good deeds come back to you. And while I don't think this should be one's motivation to do good, I have to say that it's certainly a pleasant plus side. I went to the post office on Tuesday and discovered a card in my P.O. box. The return address was that of Judith, the winner of the Contest Of Kindness. I could see a lump in the envelope, and my curiosity got the best of me. I opened it right on the mail sorting table. Enclosed were four beautiful handmade (by Judith) stitch markers and a card with a sweet handwritten note.

It was completely unexpected and really made my day. Thank you, Judith! :)

My mind keeps wandering back to this whole subject of consciously making an effort to do nice things for others. I confess I feel somewhat reluctant to keep blogging about it for fear of being labeled "sappy". But at least for today, I've come to the conclusion that this blog is my space, which means I can write about anything I choose.

I've been thinking about the ripple effect of our actions. The idea that you never can tell how far the effect of those actions will reach. It intrigues me to mentally chew on the fact that whoever that anonymous person was that shoveled the snow off of my steps could have had no idea that I would blog about it, and hold a contest that inspired others to look for the opportunity to help others, who may have in turn been inspired themselves. Who's to say where it ends? Who would have thought that shoveling steps would result in two complete strangers sending each other hand crafted gifts? Can the smallest of actions have significant consequences in the long run? I believe so. And there's a whole theory built around just that idea - the butterfly effect. If this is a subject that interests you, follow the link. I think we often feel overwhelmed and powerless when we look at all the things that could use improvement in the world. But I think we each have so much more power than we realize. If you think about any positive change that has occurred over the course of history, you'll see that in most cases the change came about from the culmination of many small actions.


kaessa said...

Those are beautiful stitch markers!

Darcie said...

I dont think we can ever have enough reminders that the small things we do can have a huge effect on others. Recently I was the recipient of such a gesture of kindness when I sent out an SOS for a bit of yarn to finish a sock. I received the yarn and my payment was to pay it forward.