Ripples v8.08: Ripples of BRIGHT CORNERS!

Ripples v8.08: Ripples of BRIGHT CORNERS!
2/20/06: your FREE weekly splash from Paul & The Ripples Project


Do not wait for some greatness you may do.
Simply brighten the corner where you are.
-source unknown, submitted by: Paul P., Plainfield NJ


It really is the little things that mean the most of all…
The “let me help you with that” things that may seem very small,
The “I’ll be glad to do it” things that make your cares much lighter,
The “laugh with me, it’s funny” things that make your outlook brighter…

The “never mind the trouble” things, The “yes, I understand,”
The interest and encouragement In everything you’ve planned…
It really is the little things, The friendly word or smile,
That add such happiness to life And make it more worth while.
-Mary Dawson Hughes, submitted by Pat S., Brooklyn WI


Welcome to the start of another busy, crazy week! I bet you have a TON of stuff to do, and probably feel like you’re behind on a few projects. So how in the WORLD could you make time to brighten someone else’s corner? It turns out there is a way!!

A few years ago, I was in a consulting session with a team who works together in Austin, Texas. The four of them were saying that they really wanted to help each other out but each had so much STUFF on his own plate that it was difficult to imagine adding MORE stuff.

I grabbed a bag of MnM’s and used them as props to explain a point. I placed four plates on the table and put five MnM’s on each plate and said, “Imagine that each of these MnM’s represents one unit of work; perhaps an hour of time or one small project. Each of you has lots of work on your plate, and the idea of taking on more units may seem overwhelming.”

I picked up an MnM from the first plate and put it on the second plate. “If you take on one unit of work from someone else’s plate, you will certainly be adding to your plate. But if you know that someone else is going to be helping YOU out (at which point I took an MnM from the second plate and put it onto the third plate) then it really isn’t going to add anything to your plate in the long run.

It takes a certain amount of planning for the system to work out evenly AND it begins with a heaping dose of trust that pitching in to help out someone will result in receiving future help from that person (or someone else on the team). Does it work? Well, I recently ran into a member of that team who reported that not only did it work for the four of them, they were able to spread the concept to others throughout the organization and it was being embraced as a way to manage your workload while being a good team player.

Of course there may be challenges, and a few bad apples in a team could take advantage of others and ruin the system. AND, it might just work out in the long run if you keep tweaking the concept to fit your group, family, department, class, etc. C’mon, do something this week to brighten someone’s corner and trust that another corner will be brightened sometime soon!


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