“I’ll do it.” My friend rose from the sofa to make coffee. A small thing, but one of many such small things that have made a big difference. Over the course of the short visit, I found myself with little to actually do; in fact, I think I cooked one meal and didn’t even get to do the dishes. Somehow or other, and without a word being said, I… technically the hostess… found myself out of a job and getting more rest over a very busy weekend than I have had in a while.
Just as the pebble that is tossed into a pool will create a wide circle of ripples, so do tiny acts of kindness add up, producing a cumulative effect far greater than the sum of its parts.
It is the small gestures that make a difference, just as it is from seemingly insignificant events or simplest of phrases from which understanding may be born. It doesn’t matter where you hear them, or read them… the right words may spark a train of thought that will unfold like a forest from scattered seed. It may take no more than a moment, or it may take a lifetime… sometimes the transmutation of knowledge into understanding is a very long process as it waits for more threads to settle into place… like the flower that may only grow in the shade of the forest floor, beneath a canopy of ancient oaks.
Everything we do or say is the cause of an effect. Good or bad, the consequences of every moment may be far-reaching. We never know just how far the story that begins in this moment may reach, nor do we know what other strands of life may be interwoven with them.
This week I have been witness to how the acts may generate the widest of ripples, as the blogging community have done amazing things in support of my son’s decision to ride in a triathlon. His story has reached an unbelievable number of readers. Yet how has that come about? Because individual people have cared enough to take a split second to click a button… or a few moments to type a comment… or a tweet… That is how the word has been spread and why such phenomenal support has been made possible.
‘How can anything I do really make a difference?’ We have probably all asked ourselves that question when faced with global events and concerns. Alone, few of us carry enough weight on the world stage to change anything, yet we are all drops in an infinite ocean and, when we move together, the weight of the wave can carry all before it.