Most of us go through life thinking, at times at least, how wonderful it would be to obtain fame or do something great or create something world-changing. We like to think we could make a big splash in the world, or at least in our neck of the woods, and that people would recognize us for our greatness. Recently, however, I had an incident where someone was creating great crashing waves, at least in my life. As this person turned everything inside out for several of us and took up an enormous amount of time, it occurred to me that waves can be very destructive. They can take out coastlines and quickly get out of control. Waves can be scary and make people run away.
Then I thought how peaceful it is when there is a ripple in a creek. I think of throwing a pebble into a pond and watching how it effects the water and perhaps the creatures below the surface. It might even change something under that water just a little bit. But it doesn’t get out of control and things can certainly return to a state of status quo quickly. I was remembering a time where we had a group of kids and they were absolutely wild. We could not seem to get them to pay attention to the lesson at all. So we, the adults, eventually just got chairs and sat down and waited. It took 20 minutes, but eventually all those kids were sitting down and waiting as well. We made a ripple in the direction of the moment, and it was very effective.
Ripples don’t scare people. They influence people. It is something to think about next time there is something you want to change. Do you need to come out swinging and yelling and creating great waves of turmoil? Or can you influence it all with a calm ripple, just planting the seed and seeing how it starts to effect those around you.