Ripples #1200: Acting on Goodness


Everyday can be a better day despite the challenge,
All you gotta do is leave it better than you found it.
Surfaces (Forrest Frank & Colin Padalecki), shared by John in Seattle, WA


Each person has inside a basic decency and goodness. If they listen to it and act on it, they are giving a great deal of what it is the world needs most. It is not complicated but it takes courage. It takes courage for people to listen to their own goodness and act on it.
-Pablo Casals (slightly adapted), shared by Pidge in Pacifica, CA


You may have noticed from the subject line that we’re crossing a fun milestone this week, marking the 1200th Monday that we’ve unleashed a splash of inspiration since we began assembling these Ripples emails way back in 1999.

We’ve gone through a lot of hard stuff over the past 1,200 Mondays; we’ve celebrated some good stuff, too. Some weeks we’ve focused on serving others, while other times we were reminded that we’ve got to take good care of ourselves, as well.

Lately it seems like the hard stuff has been more on our minds than the good stuff. If we focus solely on the big, seemingly intractable divides currently gripping our society, it is easy to understand why so many people have lost faith in the basic goodness of humankind. Things are indeed bleak, and I don’t see any immediate short-term fixes on the horizon.

Still, I believe there are multiple reasons to remain hopeful.

Every day I hear about and also witness first hand small acts of kindness and compassion, generosity and grace being recycled and renewed. Words of encouragement exchanged on social media, small favors being done for colleagues, neighbors and strangers….people showing up for each other. Many of the people who step up to get involved in community issues are motivated by reserves of optimism and a sincere belief that improving the world starts by improving our immediate surroundings.

We can’t fix all the problems that need fixing, but we can have a real and positive difference when we focus our time and energy on issues that are close to our heart. We can’t help all the people that need help, but the world gets better every time we take the time to make the difference for someone around us who wants our help.

This week I’m going to take a break from the heavier stuff long enough to focus on the gooder stuff that crosses my path. And while I’m at it, I’ll also keep my eyes and ears open for opportunities to add to the good stuff with warm smiles, quick favors, and unexpected treats. Wanna join me? It’ll be an adventure, I promise.


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