Sometimes our hearts and minds are stirred by the unlikeliest of sources. Take last week’s episode of NCIS (that’s right, NCIS—one of my guilty pleasures and one of TV’s top-rated dramas for nine years and counting). The main character on the show, Jethro Gibbs (played by Mark Harmon), faces a life or death situation which challenges him to relive and rethink key choices he has made in his life and the impact of his actions on others.

The gist of the show was to demonstrate how each of us affects the world in good ways and bad, and that every action we take—whether big or small—causes a ripple in the lives of others, like the proverbial pebble being thrown into a pond.

For fans of the show, like me, the episode was a wistful walk down memory lane with some surprising cameos from “dearly departed” past performers. But mostly, the episode got me to thinking about my own life and my own business and how I impact others.

We make decisions on a daily basis with the information we have at hand and, hopefully, we do it with good intentions. That’s really about the best we can do. Our choices may be right or wrong, and may affect people we know and even those we don’t know for better or for worse. Regardless, our choices make up who we are and the affect we have on the world.

What makes our choices right or wrong? Well, that’s a topic for the ages and really not my focus today, nor was it really the focus of the NCIS episode. What’s important is understanding that even though we may feel like small cogs in an often overwhelming and muddled world, every one of us makes a difference, whether we realize it or not—and we don’t all have to be rock stars or find a cure for some dread disease to be important, to matter.

Take Barrel O’ Monkeyz or this Monkeyz Business blog for instance. Each represents one of my small pebbles, my ways of making ripples that, inevitably, will affect others. How many will they affect and in what ways? Well, that’s the fun of it all, now isn’t it?

Maybe Barrel O’ Monkeyz will propel a beneficial product or service to market that might otherwise have slipped beneath the radar; or maybe we’ll rock it out through social media, bringing a key individual’s message to the masses; or maybe it’s as simple as inspiring some of the hundreds of readers of this blog to challenge the norm and engage in deeper conversations with their friends, leading to who knows what, where, and when . . .

The point is we all have “pebbles.” Many of us will choose to toss them into life’s pond, while many others will choose to hold onto them, never daring to set them free. Ultimately, it is a choice.

What pebbles are you holding right now, today, that you can choose to throw, making ripples either in your personal or professional life?