By Charli Lundholm

I was recently visiting my dad and we started talking about how we don’t always know the effect we have on people. We both shared stories of times when we had said a kind word, shared a story, or made what we thought was a very small gesture of kindness, only to find out later that it had made a positive impact on someones life. We have all been on the receiving end of such an experience. Someone says something and we suddenly have an a-ha moment. Perhaps we get clarity or are able to see things in a brighter more positive way. Sometimes these exchanges can be the impetus for us to make some needed changes in our lives. And other times it is something as simple as a smile and it changes our mood for the better.

What we do matters. What we say matters. How we interact with one another matters. Most of the time, we don’t know the effect our words or actions have, good or bad. Just as a kind word or smile can brighten someones day, being grumpy and taking our frustrations out on the grocery store worker can dampen their day. Both scenarios have a ripple effect. The smile lifts and brightens and that gets rippled out. The grumpiness can dull another’s light and that ripples out. What we do matters. 

You have heard the phrase, “Everything is interconnected.”  It has been described as a web of threads that connects us all. I admit it is a concept that sometimes makes my brain go numb because it is hard to fathom. We can’t see it (well, some people can.) We can’t reach out and touch it. Yet when we remember everything is energy, it is easier to understand. Everything is energy. This includes our thoughts, words, emotions, beliefs, and actions. And what we put out into the world, be it a smile or a scowl, a kind word or an angry word, it is all energy. It has a vibration. It can effect another person, a city, a country, or our entire world.

Why am I bringing this up? Because there is a lot of unconsciousness in our world right now. There are a lot of “ripples” that are in our web of interconnectedness, some good, some not so good. What if we were more conscious of our ripples? What if we were aware of our impact? I remember reading a sentence in a book that was one of those a-ha moments for me. I wish I could remember who the author was, but they said, “You can’t NOT make waves.” I was so taken back by that simple, single sentence. (A perfect example of not knowing how we impact people…the author has no idea how important that statement has been in my life.) We are always making waves and ripples. We are always having an effect on that web of interconnectedness, whether we know it or not. And here is an important aspect…we get to choose what we put out into it. We get to choose how we want to impact our loved ones, friends, strangers and the world.

I invite you to be aware of what you are sharing with the world. Be conscious when you interact with others. Consciously choose what wave you want to put out in the world. Does this sound like a big responsibility? Yep. It is. But that doesn’t mean it has to be overwhelming. And it doesn’t have to be guilt producing on those days you choose to be a grump head. It’s about awareness. Simply start being aware of what you are sharing with the rest of us.

We start anything one step at a time. One choice at a time. So it is with this. Who knows how you will impact someones life.