Ripples #1124: Bringing Out the Best


You can work miracles by having faith in others.
By choosing to think and believe the best about people,
you are able to bring out the best in them.
-Bob Moawad, shared by Tim in St. Louis, MO


If we are to achieve a richer culture, rich in contrasting values, we must recognize the whole gamut of human potentialities, and so weave a less arbitrary social fabric, one in which each diverse human gift will find a fitting place.
-Margaret Mead, shared by Debbie in Knoxville, TN


Way back at the beginning of the Incredible and Awful Pandemic of 2020, my friend Toby and I brainstormed a Handwashing Meditation (
that allows us to spend twenty seconds scrubbing our hands while remembering that most of us, most of the time, are doing the very best we can…even when it seems like our best isn’t good enough.

Eight months later, I still recite it several times a day, and it continues to help me access reserves of compassion and generosity toward myself and others. It hasn’t kept me from growing exasperated at times, but it has allowed me to put my frustration in context.

I’m sure I’ve said this before in these weekly splashes, and I think it is worth repeating: there are plenty of times we declare a person or group to be stupid, crazy, and/or evil when it is probably more useful and more accurate to describe their words/behavior as uninformed, irrational, and/or lacking compassion. Those are less caustic and more generous terms, and they help us remember that there are times when WE are the ones guilty of speaking/acting from a place that is less informed, less rational, and less compassionate than we realize.

We have a long road ahead of us, and the polarization we’re currently experiencing is indeed daunting. I believe that 2021 holds some opportunities for us to step back, pause, pivot, and hopefully find some new ways to step forward. Easy? Nope. Possible? Yup.


P.S. Thanks to everyone who is sharing Hope for the Holidays with our Ripply books and goodies. I’ll soon be taking some down time over the holidays, but will mail out Bundles of Hope, books and other orders that come in by the end of this week.

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