In my last blog post (‘Everything … is for a purpose.’) I used the analogy of a river as being a way to think of how our lives progress from start to finish, and I would quite like to stay with the notion of water this time, too.
One thing that has been crystallised for me, through my observations of people, is that although everyone is uniquely and wonderfully different, there are certain categories that can often (surprisingly often in fact) be loosely applied across the majority of the population with regard to their influence on others for the greater good. People can often move in and out from one category to another, dependent on life’s circumstances, but I have found the following general categories can be very helpful when trying to determine my own state of mind, or when trying to evaluate my personal progress or situation. Applied to others the categories can be useful to know who is best to approach for guidance or support, or who in fact is in most need of support and understanding from me.
The three simple categories are:
1. Ripple Creators
2. Ripple Reflectors
3. Ripple Users
So, what you may well ask, are ‘ripples’? Well, they are the positive things we do, say and engage in to help others – the things that can make other people’s lives better in some way, help with how they feel about themselves and their circumstances, and give them a boost or ‘lift’ spiritually, emotionally, socially and personally as they go about coping with whatever they are living through.
We hear the expression ‘making waves’ but waves are a bit frantic for my liking – they are altogether too adrenaline-filled, muscle-bound and violent at times – generically destructive and over powering to cope with when they start slamming into things. Ripples are different – they are gentler, more finely tuned to the circumstances, and don’t seek to smash anything (or anyone) to bits – just gently nudge things along. Think of waves-v-ripples in this way – you carefully make a small paper boat and set it floating on a pond – you want to encourage it to go in a certain direction, so you toss in the small pebble or stone alongside it, or behind it, to create a few ripples to help it bob along in your desired direction – but a big stone that creates waves will just sink the flimsy vessel, which is not what you want at all…
So, you get the drift – ripples are helpful, useful, generally easy to create and can guide, nudge and encourage when applied with skill and care and to the right extent.
Ripple Creators are good at starting ripples – they often have an instinctive ‘nose’ for when a ripple is needed, and have a knack of how to create it, as well as when and where. The creation process can take years of practice of course, and may not always come naturally when you feel under-the-weather yourself, but creating ripples is fun and a very positive thing to do – as well as helping move things/people/situations in the right direction the ripples make you (the Ripple Creator) feel good too 🙂 It’s called a big ‘Win-Win’ situation. Ripple Creators are essential people to have around – they are the ever-focussed eye of awareness and action, never stinting to help others around them – even ones they don’t know personally. But, no-one can be expected to always be giving without a little rest sometimes themselves – so now we come to the second category, where you will oftentimes find Ripple Creators while they recharge their ‘batteries’ …
Ripple Reflectors are often the largest group in the population – in the dream-world of cyber-space they can be thought of as people on Facebook who ‘Share’ a funny story, or ReTweet a helpful word or two from someone else. However, in the real 3D world where it truly matters most, they may just be someone who is ‘paying forwards’ having been given a help-up themselves in life – so they are reflecting and bouncing back the ripples so the ripples can go on and help someone else. For instance, imagine you are in a shop, trying to struggle out the door when someone reaches out and holds the door open for you – they are being a Ripple Creator. So, the next chance you get to return the favour to someone else you are being a Ripple Reflector, effectively becoming a type of Ripple Creator too, simply grown from when something nice was done for you – and so it goes on – the ripple never dies and instead keeps bouncing around and often even growing! Being a Ripple Reflector is fun too – not as much fun as creating ripples, but it is still great to see how we can move things on in life, in a positive way wherever we have something positive happen to, or for, us first.
Ripple Users are our third, and in some ways most important, category. They are where the ripples stop – the shallow, or maybe weed-filled, shorelines of existence which absorb the ripples. Nothing bounces back – no further movement happens, but that is because the ripples have reached someone who really needs them – someone who is unable to generate any ripples themselves, can’t even reflect anything because they are struggling so much, and these are the people the Ripple Creators were always hoping to help, sometime, somewhere, when they first created the tiny movements on the waters of life. We have all been Ripple Users at times – periods in our lives where we suck in more energy than we can give out – where we need more help given to us than we can ever see ourselves being able to repay – but that is OK, it is normal, it happens, and it is LIFE! It’s one of the very greatest joys to see Ripple Users so often get back on their feet and be able to become at least Ripple Reflectors and sometimes they even become inspired Ripple Creators themselves, directly drawing on their own experiences to motivate and encourage others.
Thus the cycle continues, the ripples keep going round and round and round, and everyone gets a bit of the Win-Win situation too after a while 🙂
So, what’s the affirmation, I hear you ask? Well, here it is, and I hope it can help inspire you, as so many have created ripples that have helped me, I will also try to be ‘out there’ creating ripples too, whenever I can.
Peace and love to you all 🙂
‘Like ripples in a pond, your life affects those around you, which will affect those around them, and so on… Make sure you only create good ripples that encourage people to create even more good ripples themselves. Who knows how many hundreds, or even thousands, of people could be positively affected by one act of kindness?’
~ Gaius Quinterus