Drop a Pebble in a Still Pond

by Marcia Barhydt

“Drop a pebble in a still pond and watch the pebble travel out in an ever expanding ring.”

This is the first line in a beautiful, serene video that I’d like to share with you this Holiday Season. The pond is the world; your heart is the pebble.

A non-profit group called Humanity Healing Foundation produced this wonderful video on YouTube, The Ripple Effect Experiment. You can watch it here; I know you’ll be glad you took the time, a short 7 minutes, because it may be the most wonderful gift you receive this holiday season.

One of the slides explains the foundation of The Ripple Effect:
Each choice we make causes a ripple effect in our lives.
When things happen to us, it’s the reaction we choose
That can create the difference Between the sorrows of our past And the joy in our future.

I think we’re all aware of the ripple effect in some parts of our lives; if we sleep in and are late for work, we’ll be playing catch-up all day; if we over-schedule our day, we’ll be too exhausted that evening to spend time with our kids; if we have a big argument with our husbands, we probably won’t be going out for dinner tonight!

But to think of the ripple effect in global proportions is a new idea for me personally. And it’s one that I really like. What it says to me is that each time I do something kind for another person, that person benefits and subconsciously pays it forward. She doesn’t pay my kindness forward, but my kindness helps her to feel warm and fuzzy enough to be kind to someone else in her own world. And on it goes, one person at a time, see? Like ripples in a still pond.

There’s also the ripple that we create in our own lives (see the quote above). If I hear a knock at my door, I have the choice to open the door or to ignore the knock and leave the door closed. If I open it, whoever or whatever is there will change my life in either a small or large way. If I leave the door closed, I deny myself the possibility of something new entering my life. How could I possibly not open that door?

In order to open the door, however, we need to trust ourselves enough to know that we can deal with whatever waits there for us. No trust in ourselves? The door stays closed. And we miss an opportunity to alter and improve our lives. We all have the ability to cope with whatever life gives us; we may not know it though and it’s time for us to realize how capable we are at creating our own ripples. How can I possibly not open that door?

In order to open the door, we need to be willing to greet life with passion, with excitement, with positivity. Those qualities are already inside of us, waiting to come out to help us celebrate the joys of our lives. How can I possibly not open that door?

So when I toss my pebble in a pond, when I do a kind thing for one other person, my kindness ends up being passed through many, many hands until it reaches the person who needs it most perhaps. Each pebble I toss touches each person I know too, because it’s become a part of me, and helps them to toss their own pebble. And on and on, so that each pebble I toss can indeed have unlimited consequences, unlimited possibilities. That’s how this becomes global and affects every person in our world and effects great changes for everyone on our earth.

“The pond is the world; your heart is the pebble.”

I’m a woman of a certain age and I hope I may have given you a small gift you will take with you always.

©Marcia Barhydt, 2010

2 Responses

  1. Wonderful post! What resonated most with me is “In order to open the door, however, we need to trust ourselves enough to know that we can deal with whatever waits there for us.” It’s hard to trust myself about things I pursue in life, when so much of my life as a mom chips away at my self-confidence and trust in the planet. But I remain resolute and keep trying anyway. Most days. 🙂 Thanks for the great encouragement!

    1. Laurie – don’t ever give up. Celebrate every small success each day, because it is in the small successes that we watch our children grow into the human beings we hope they will (even though they often take detours). Everything you do and say has an impact on those around you, just like the ripple in the pond. Know that you DO make a difference.



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