Sunday, November 15, 2009

Ripple Effect

Saturday I went to a local beach clean up with some friends. We were part of a greater pick up effort organized by a coastal conservancy group. It was good exercise, lots of fresh air, and a good deed done as we picked up ciggie butts, fishing line, endless quantities of styrofoam and plastic, and the occasional mylar balloon (why oh why do people get them? And why do they let them loose into the air? ).

It occurs to me that there are two kinds of people: those who litter, and those who pick up the litter.

And moreover, in our lives we are, each of us, at any given moment both of those types of people. Sometimes we make a mess and leave it for someone else. Sometimes we clean up a mess we didn’t make. It might be a physical mess, like not bussing your table at a fast food restaurant, or it might be emotional, like a careless, hurtful comment hurled without editorial thought or reason.

Perhaps the trick of it is to recognize this and to be conscious of what we do each day. Are we leaving a mess for someone else? What impact are we having? And then act in a way consistent with your consciousness.

Our actions ripple out from us energetically like the water radiating in tiny waves from an object thrown in the ocean. What we do matters, even on a small scale.

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