Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Ripple Impact

by Janet M. Shlaes, Ph.D.

“Remember, there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.  ~ Scott Adams

Several years ago “random acts of kindness” were all the rage; the most well-known ones concerned anonymously paying for a random stranger’s highway toll or restaurant bill. There were even several books and movies crafted about the topic. Possible acts of kindness are abundant; they exist within every encounter and benefit both the giver and the receiver. Some of my favorite acts of kindness seem so small at the time, yet the impact feels expansive. Let me explain…….

Grocery store employees are currently trained in a customer service model based on being polite and friendly, specifically asking customers how they are doing and if they were able to find everything they wanted. Because I tend to be a curious person (some might call it nosey), I characteristically ask grocery store check-out personnel about their day. They always appear to be surprised and pleased at what, on the surface, appears to be a minor question. The responses I receive are consistently amazing. In the brief period of time that we interact, their whole physiology changes from dull to dazzling. An added bonus is that I get to learn some interesting and often astonishing things about the person. I have learned about their hometowns and families, interests, avocations, hopes, passions, future dreams and what they will be doing when their shift is over. Through asking about their world, I get to expand my knowledge about the world in general and enter their unique world for a few short moments.

I invite you to commit to creating positive ripples in the world through facilitating a small act of kindness today.


For additional insights and observations, check out the following posts:

Learn Something New

Embracing "Good Enough"

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