If, like me, you’ve been skimming the headlines recently (online, of course) and ducking the constant barrage of what’s happening where and when—from the Trayvon Martin case and the Edward Snowden stare down, to D.C. politics as usual and the birth of a future king—you’re probably feeling a bit overwhelmed, maybe even a little anxious. It’s clear from the day-to-day news, the talking head pundits who tell us how to feel, and how we actually react to events, that we all are connected the whole world over.
It used to be that our actions and decisions mainly affected those around us—family, friends, and possibly our communities. Nowadays, though, with the advent of social media, 24×7 news and talk, smartphones, and every other connectivity gadget imaginable, every choice and every move we make has the potential to affect countless others around the globe . . . and that’s not really much of an exaggeration. Not only do we enjoy a global economy these days, but we are all part of a global community.
This got me to thinking of a blog I did back in early 2012 called “Pebbles.” In it, I talked about how we all contribute to the ripples in life’s pond, for good and/or sometimes for bad, and how what we do and say really does matter. Take a minute to revisit “Pebbles” as I did, then think about the ripples you already create every day in your own life and in the lives of those around you. Enjoy!
(Originally posted on February 14, 2012)
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 my work or this 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 the work I do 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?