The ripple effect

The Ripples of Life

This week at the Carrot Ranch, Charli Mills challenged writers to In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about life as a river of consciousness. Think about the possibilities of the prompt. Go where the prompt leads!

The 99-word responses to Charli’s prompt will be collected and gifted to Sue Vincent on 17 February. So, if you would like your writing to be included in that collection, please pop over to the Carrot Ranch for more information and to submit your response using the form.

The Sue Vincent Rodeo Classic flash fiction contest is now also live. You can find out more about it here. With a very attractive $100 first prize and one of Sue’s books for each of five runners up, it is worth entering.

When I read Charli’s prompt, I immediately thought of the ripple effect of our lives, the effects that occur while we are on this Earth and those that continue long after through our children and our children’s children, and through lives we have touched from near or far, like a river of consciousness that flows through humanity from beginning to end.

I cannot think of the ripple effect without thinking of a wonderful book written by learning futurist Tony Ryan. The Ripple Effect was first published over twenty years ago and is still just as relevant and available today. It is filled with stories that show the difference that even the simplest of actions can make each day. The contribution that Tony’s book has had on lives in those 20+ years must be immeasurable.

I have previously written about Tony and his book in Ripples Through Time, Add a Sprinkle of Glitter to Make Your Day Sparkle and @aussietony’s 20 gift suggestions for life-long learning. In 3 Inspiring Educators, I nominated Tony as one of those being a positive influence upon my work as an educator.

In response to Charli’s prompt, I had three main thoughts:

  1. The ripple effect as in the day to day ripples we create for ourselves and others with our thoughts, words and actions.
  2. The thought that every molecule of water is recycled over time and through all generations of plants and animals, including humans (my interpretation of an idea shared by Deepak Chopra in a seminar I attended many years ago).
  3. The ripples that are passed down through time from one generation to the next and beyond. This can sometimes be seen in families that generate function or disfunction over time. I was recently reminded of this phenomenon by Alfie Kohn in his book Unconditional Parenting.

These thoughts combine into one: that, whether we think about it or not, what we do in the here and now has effects of which we may never know.

Here is my response to Charli’s prompt. I hope you enjoy it.

The Ripples of Life

The stone made a mini fountain where it plunged into the water. The boy and the man watched the ripples spread. The boy’s eyes filled with wonder, the man’s with life’s wisdom.

“Where do the ripples go?” asked the boy.

“Everywhere,” said the man. “Even when we no longer see them, their effects go on. Like that stone, we make a splash in our family when we arrive. Our circles grow as we grow. Our lives touch more and more. We may never know the effects, but they are there, rippling through the world, flowing forever in the river of life.”

Thank you blog post

Thank you for reading. I appreciate your feedback. Please share your thoughts.

58 thoughts on “The Ripples of Life

  1. Pingback: Special Sue Vincent Collection « Carrot Ranch Literary Community

    1. Norah Post author

      I’m sorry your day is giving you problems, Robbie, and am pleased that my post uplifted you. I hope you have untangled those knots and moved onto a better place now.

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  2. Debbie

    This is a fantastic response Norah and I too remember that book from years ago, I think I still have it somewhere! Your words made a great impression and Erica suggested I read your post in my recent #shoutoutsaturday post, so many thanks to her for letting me know about your fabulous post. 🙂

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    1. Norah Post author

      I’m pleased you enjoyed my story, Patricia. I agree with you about not knowing. It keeps us humble and positive, I think. Which author are you referring to?

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  3. petespringerauthor

    Just beautiful! From your thoughts to Charli’s prompt, to learning about some of your educational heroes, and finally, the prompt itself. The ripple effect is the perfect analogy for the impact we may make on someone’s life without knowing it. I think of us as runners in a relay race. We carry the torch as long as we can and eventually hand it off to someone else who will continue to run the race. There is no more important race than that of humanity.

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  4. srbottch

    Norah, I thoroughly enjoyed your comments about ‘the ripples of life’ and then your own story. I especially liked the old man’s comment that we make a ripple when we’re born into a family. Yes, the ripples never end, for better or worse. Be well!

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      1. srbottch

        Tan you, Norah. The concept of ‘ripples’ is so effective. It’s a concept that would be most effective when learned at an early age. Unfortunately…..oh, well, that’s probably a topic for another day.

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  5. Erica/Erika

    A beautiful introduction to your story and your thought process, Norah. I love your three main thoughts. I have heard about the molecule of water recycled over time and I greatly appreciate the reminder. Especially lately. I had the privilege of listening to Deepak Chopra, when he visited our University in Victoria. He spoke a great deal about telomeres. We did a very moving group meditation. I still feel the energy from that day.

    Tears brimming reading your response, Norah. The circle of life and the river of life. Beautiful! Thank you for sharing you.xx

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  6. Darlene

    What lovely words and food for thought. We never know how our words and actions can affect others so we need to be mindful of what we say and do and decisions we make.

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  7. Sue Vincent

    The ripples from all events spread so very wide. That was borne in upon me when my son was left in the coma and the fallout seemed to spread worldwide. We will never see a fraction of the effects our own lives, actions or decisions will have on the lives of others, but remembering that there is and will be that effect can change how we approach each moment.

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    1. Norah Post author

      Thanks for popping in with your lovely comment so quickly, Sue. What happened to your son was tragic and devastating for you all. Yes, those ripples went far and went deep. You ensured that the effects of the negative ripples were overtaken by your own positivity that you spread with all you do. Every choice we make in every moment initiates ripples. It is our choice what those ripples will be.

      Liked by 1 person

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