Watching the ripples over water is a beautiful thing.
Seeing the ripple effect of a smile as you stand on stage sharing a motivational speech or watching the best man share a speech at a friend’s wedding is heart-warming.
The ripple effect of the start of a Mexican wave at a sporting event or the lights come on over the town as dusk begins to fall.
One good turn deserves another, the concept of paying it forward, being there for someone, so they have the strength and courage to be there for someone else. Giving yourself permission to be happy and overflowing with gratitude and self-love so others are inspired to do the same for themselves, are all very beautiful moments in time.
But what of the negative ripple effect of one bad business system and procedure that impacts someone’s life? A person who’s ‘just doing their job’ without thinking about the effect of not paying someone’s invoice on time and the ripple effect that has on the life of that person, and their family? A missed mortgage payment, a school trip not funded so their child misses out on a life-changing experience with friends, a missed deadline to secure their place on an all-important training course, repairs to the home boiler or a much-needed pair of shoes for the children?
How about the faulty product that causes an injury, the Dr who is so overworked and tired due to staff shortages and budget cuts who misses the vital clue in someone’s health and well-being? Does it result in something which could prevent life-long pain and suffering or even death? And how does that affect their ability to work, providing for their family or the suffering to their loved ones?
Or the teacher who is inundated with administration that they lose the passion for the subject they once loved, gets burned out and is signed off work with stress; and the impact that has on the students and their family, the teacher’s family, the other teachers who have to cover and the overall results for the school?
Regardless of whether the ripple effects of our actions create a positive or negative impact, it is a sure sign that no matter what we do in life, we can guarantee we are all-powerful in our own way. Some people will benefit greatly from seeing us smile, as will some not so nice people who will benefit greatly from seeing our demise.
We see the effects of bullying on so many young children, how it affects them through to adult life. We see adults who go through life thinking they are not good enough, not capable enough or not interesting, keeping themselves small and not taking the risks in life that will lead them to the life they once always dreamed of.
Settling for mediocrity instead of greatness, settling for a job which does not fulfil them, settling for a marriage which is not working instead of allowing themselves to live a life full of pleasure and deep joy, however that may be for them.
Living life by other people’s measure of success or happiness, living life fearful of speaking our truth for fear of judgement, rejection or upsetting others, none of it serves us well. We end up hiding who we are, playing small and crushing our own inner beauty.
When if we stay true to what makes us happy, living life on our own terms, honouring ourselves, voicing our ideas and opinions from a place of love and acceptance of self, we return full circle to the beautiful smile and confidence we had when we were a baby, a small child, so full of excitement and possibility that the ripple effect of smiles and whoops of delight then create a cascade of beautiful moments.
And isn’t that what life is all about?
Filling life with beautiful moments so when we look back over our day, our lives, we light ourselves and others up from the inside out?
That warm fuzzy feeling we get when we have done something great, even if that greatness is simply putting a smile on someone else’s face, especially someone we don’t even know; because for that stranger, our smiles could be the one thing that gets them through a really terrible day, an awfully painful time in their lives or help them have the courage to own their own smile.
So let’s start a purposeful ripple effect of smiling at strangers because that ripple will be incredibly beautiful.–