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Ripples #999: Loving, Lifting!

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Ripples #999: Loving, Lifting!
July 16, 2018

PEBBLE
We are placed where we are so we can love and lift others.
-Carol McConkie,
shared by Sara in Portsmouth, NH, via Project Happiness:

BOULDER
Being Human is the hardest thing we do AS humans. Our knowledge and the awareness of the universe limited as it is by our senses, we struggle from the moment of our first breath to make connections with others to add depth, context, meaning, and passion to our mortality. Our most sacred obligation is to daily touch the lives of others in ways that give them hope and purpose for living.
Robert Ruder, shared by em on Whidbey Island, WA

PONDER

I’ve had a busy few weeks, firing up incoming students at the University of New England as well as spending time with several pools of my Procter & Gamble peeps in Boston, Dayton, and right here in Cincinnati. At each event I marveled at the vast diversity gathered in the room: who was present, the paths they took to arrive at that particular point in time, and the myriad future directions they aspired to travel next.

During these talks we explored strategies for deepening our capacity to connect with others, something that is essential to personal and professional success. And while it is true that developing exceptional communication and relationship management skills requires considerable effort, it is also true that every single encounter we have with another human being is a chance to further refine these skills.

This week, choose to view every encounter as an opportunity to reveal your humanity and to honor theirs. Friend, foe, or stranger, make an extra effort to extend patience, compassion, and/or assistance as often as possible. You’ll likely make someone’s day, and you’ll definitely improve yours.

Peace,

Paul
The Ripples Guy… Read More!

Ripples #980: Action!

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Ripples #980: Action!
March 5, 2018

PEBBLE
Too much rest is rust.
-Sir Walter Scott, shared by Doreen in Minnesota

BOULDER
Infuse your life with action. Don’t wait for it to happen. Make it happen. Make your own future. Make your own hope. Make your own love. And whatever your beliefs, honor your creator, not by passively waiting for grace to come down from upon high, but by doing what you can to make grace happen… yourself, right now, right down here on Earth.
-Bradley Whitford
shared by Pete in Ouray, CO via Values.com

PONDER

One of our longtime readers reached out to me recently with this message:

“Paul, I’m a big fan and a longtime subscriber. I’ve seen you speak a few times and I look forward to each Monday’s edition of Ripples because it often offers good advice, whether it is challenging us to step away from the madness, or hit the time-out button to just breathe and have some ‘me time.’ I fear, however, that many of us are quick to step away but sometimes need encouragement to do the opposite: to engage and actively pursue a solution to the task at hand…. Sometimes I would like to open up Ripples and find a message that tells me to get myself in gear and start kicking butt!”

Ok, Lee! This issue of Ripples goes out to you and all the other Ripplers who are pretty darn good at STEPPING BACK when they need, but may need an occasional boost for STEPPING FORWARD and STEPPING UP to tackle the important tasks of improving themselves and the world around them. Taking action isn’t always easy, and doesn’t always move you in a direct line toward success. Still, summoning the courage and strength to take action usually allows us to grow, and it often helps us gain wisdom as well.

Are you in? Well, okay then…. stop reading this AND GO DO SOMETHING ALREADY!

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy
P.S. I deeply appreciate that a handful of folks respond to Ripples each week: I read every single message! I strive to respond individually when I have time, particularly to readers who haven’t reached out previously. Sometimes my kooky schedule requires me to skim and store rather than reflect and respond. Still: I’m grateful!… Read More!

Ripples #897: The Hero Within.

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Ripples #897: The Hero Within.
Aug 1, 2016

PEBBLE
I think a hero is any person really intent on making this a better place for all people.
-Maya Angelou, shared by Pete in Sedona, AZ

BOULDER
We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It’s easy to say ‘It’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.’ Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes. -Fred Rogers, shared by Jamie in Michigan

PONDER

I spent some time with two of my heroes this weekend: Jason Bourne and Harry Potter. I realize that they are both fictional characters of course, but having the new Bourne thriller open in movie theaters on the same weekend as the book release of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” was an exceptional coincidence and made for a magnificent weekend.

Besides lots of chase scenes and fight scenes, Jason Bourne’s adventures focus on the challenges of recovering traumatic memories and deciding how much the darkness in your past defines you and determines your future. Of course Harry Potter had to face his own troubled past as well, and summon the courage to face demons even when others didn’t believe in him.

The plot twists they each face mirror challenges in my own life, and both Jason and Harry have helped me remember how large our internal reserves of courage and strength can be. On our worst days, we tend to forget how powerful we are; on our best days, we forget that unleashing our strengths often inspires others to rise up as well.

I’m going to jump back into reading Harry Potter (don’t worry, I promise to #KeepTheSecrets); meanwhile, I hope you can spend a few minutes this week noticing how much in common you have with your heroes.

Peace,

Paul
The Ripples Guy
P.S. I dedicate this issue to a couple of people I’ve been in contact with recently who are struggling mightily. I hope they remember that the level of difficulty they’re facing is a sign of just how tough life can be and not a sign of their weakness; I also hope they recognize that the tougher life has been, the more amazing it proves they are since: they made it to today. #uRock… Read More!

Ripples #887: The Challenge of Compassion.

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Ripples #887: The Challenge of Compassion.
May 23, 2016

PEBBLE
There are so many ways of being despicable it quite makes one’s head spin. But the way to be really despicable is to be contemptuous of other people’s pain.
―James Baldwin, shared by David in Cincinnati, OH

BOULDER
Compassion asks us to go where it hurts, to enter into the places of pain, to share in brokenness, fear, confusion, and anguish. Compassion challenges us to cry out with those in misery, to mourn with those who are lonely, to weep with those in tears. Compassion requires us to be weak with the weak, vulnerable with the vulnerable, and powerless with the powerless. Compassion means full immersion in the condition of being human.
—Henri Nouwen, shared by Pete in Sedona, AZ

PONDER
Compassion is *not* for beginners since it moves beyond mere passion (feeling strongly), polite sympathy (feeling sorry), or even deep empathy (attempting to understand the feelings of another). We need those as a human relations starter kit of course, but in order to fully move into the realm of compassion, we need to advance towards actually *feeling* what another soul is feeling. Fully actualized compassion also includes cultivating a desire to help someone, and daring to act on that desire. Compassion requires a deeper sense of personal, spiritual, and/or metaphysical connection to another being.

As we advance further into yet another presidential election cycle, my sense is that there are more and more people who hold less and less regard for the “other side.” I’m concerned that we have nearly depleted any remaining reserves of trust and respect for people who hold opposing opinions on important issues, as well as those who care significantly MORE or LESS than we do about a particular topic.

While many of us claim to value compassion as a virtue, we also tend to be much more generous in sharing compassion among our friends and family than we are towards strangers and those we perceive as foes. On one level, it seems logical to prioritize those we already know and care about. On a deeper level, I’m concerned we are reducing the overall amount of safety and comfort available in the world; it seems we may have inadvertently slipped into the habit of reserving compassion for those within our closer circles and offering only contempt and maybe a dollop of pity to others.

This week, let’s keep our eyes open for signs of authentic humanity that surely exists within those we are in conflict with. See if you can recognize and acknowledge any goodness you identify. It might not feel right for every situation, and you can always resume a more protective or aggressive mode if that feels necessary. I’m only hoping we will generate a small, measurable increase in the amount of compassion we collectively unleash–then we can observe what ripply magic expands outward from there.

Peace,
Paul
The Ripples Guy
p.s. Thanks for reading Ripples today. It matters to me that this … Read More!

Ripples #727: Leading by Serving.

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Ripples #727: Leading by Serving.
For our tribe of 30,767 busy people who share encouragement and gratitude.
April 29, 2013

PEBBLE:
You can’t lead people
if you don’t love people.
You can’t save people
if you don’t serve people.
-Congresswoman Julia Carson, shared by Karla in Indianapolis, IN

BOULDER:
We must be silent before we can listen.
We must listen before we can learn.
We must learn before we can prepare.
We must prepare before we can serve.
We must serve before we can lead.
-William Arthur Ward, shared by Bruce in Milwaukee, WI

PONDER:
It can be tempting to view leadership simply as being in charge or in control. From my earliest leadership roles in scouting to my current work as a leadership trainer, I have learned from countless role models that effective leaders usually earn the respect and trust of their teams by demonstrating authenticity, compassion, and a willingness to work as hard or harder than they expect others to. Is there anything you could do this week to extend your leadership capacity through compassionate service to others?

Peace,
Paul
P.S. Speaking of scouting: I am proud to be a gay Eagle Scout who believes our world is improved whenever we bring our FULL and BEST selves to work, school, and life. Some of my fellow Eagle Scouts and I have teamed up to raise awareness and funds to end discrimination in scouting. Please watch this video (especially if you’re a Zach Wahls fan) and consider pitching in to create more ripples of leadership. Let me know if you donate because Zach and I intend to match it! http://youtu.be/pMmKNYjBlUc… Read More!

Ripples #679: Heroes.

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Ripples #679: Heroes.
For our tribe of 30,891 busy people who share encouragement and gratitude.
05/29/2012

PEBBLE:
Heroes are people who rise to the occasion
and then slip quietly away.
-Tom Brokaw, submitted by Brian in Evansville, IN

BOULDERS:
The primordial soup that creates heroes
never tastes of rainbows–
it’s a lumpy gumbo of suffering and evil.
Heroes are born from darkness,
because we desperately need
someone to light the way.
-Dave Kosak, submitted by Nick in New Jersey

PONDER:
If you’re still savoring the holiday weekend, please find a moment to remember that Memorial Day, in addition to our “kick off the summer” here in the U.S., is also a chance to honor fallen soldiers who gave their lives so that we may continue to enjoy our many freedoms. If you’re back to school/work/life after the holiday weekend, there is still time to recognize soldiers and other heroes who have improved our lives.

And while you’re at it, keep your eyes open this week for an opportunity to be there for someone else. Whether it is a quick favor or a significant sacrifice, and with my apologies to Tina Turner, we are always in need of more heroes1

Peace,
Paul… Read More!

Ripples #564: Reputation vs. Character.

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Ripples #564: Reputation vs. Character.
Monday, Mar 15, 2010
The Ripples Project is a tribe of 24,980
who believe tiny actions create big possibilities

_______
PEBBLE
Reputation is the shadow: character is the tree.
-Abraham Lincoln, submitted by JDN, Amarillo TX
________
BOULDER
Be more concerned with your character than with your reputation. Your
character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what
others think you are.
-Dale Carnegie, submitted by Steve R., Madison WI
_______
PONDER
Have you become a person that would make your grama proud? Do you make the
right choices when no one else is looking? What action could you take this
week to strengthen your CHARACTER?

Perhaps you need to speak up on behalf of someone else, or do the right
thing even if it isn’t convenient, or maybe find the courage to apologize
and make ammends for a past wrong.

You may notice that as your CHARACTER grows, so does the shadow called your
REPUTATION!

Peace,
Paul… Read More!

Ripples v11.48: Heroes!

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Ripples v11.48: Heroes!
The Ripples Project is a tribe of 24,107
who believe tiny actions create big possibilities
Monday, December 7, 2009

_______
PEBBLE
The task ahead of you is never as great as the power behind you!
-unknown, submitted by Karen C., Indianapolis IN

________
BOULDER
Our planet is filled with heroes, young and old, rich and poor, man, woman
of different colors, shapes and sizes. We are one great tapestry. Each
person has a hidden hero within, you just have to look inside you and search
for it in your heart, and be the hero to the next one in need. …[T]he hero
in you is waiting to be unleashed. Serve, serve well, serve others above
yourself and be happy to serve…you are the change that you dream, as I am
the change that I dream, and collectively we are the change that this world
needs to be.
-Efren Peñaflorida, 2009 CNN Hero of the Year, submitted by Cody K.,
Houghton MI

_______
PONDER
I received an email last week from a Rippler whose mom is facing
significant health challenges and she asked about resources to help the
family face the many unknowns. This was my reply:

“I cannot imagine how difficult this must be for you and your family, and
while I don’t have any specific suggestions on resources to ‘face the
unknown’ I can tell you that right now, in hospital rooms and offices with
layoffs and homes in foreclosures and food pantries and lots of other
corners, there are many people facing the unknown in its various scary and
frustrating and awful forms. It turns out that we have enormous capacity
for bravery and strength and sticking together when times are tough, and
while there might be some books or articles or websites with some nuggets,
the most powerful support you have might be gathering your family and
friends together in a huddle and saying, “this is poopy, this isn’t what we
hoped/planned for, this isn’t fun, this isn’t easy, but WE CAN GET THROUGH
THIS and we can come out on the other side CLOSER, STRONGER, WISER, and
BRAVER.”

I needed to gather my tribe this week to help me face some difficulties,
and while they couldn’t take away the pain, they did an extraordinary job in
helping me feel loved and cared for. I hope this week you can either be a
hero or find a hero, or both!

Peace,
Paul
p.s. Thank you for your many supportive comments about our friend Aaron;
he is still in ICU with some improvement and a long way to go. … Read More!

Ripples v10.18: Planting Trees!

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Ripples v10.18: Planting Trees!
May 5, 2008: a free weekly splash to 19,070 subscribers
from Paul & The Ripples Project

__PEBBLES _________________________________

The greatest use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.
-William James, submitted by Mike R., Yukon OK

The true meaning of life is to plant trees,
under whose shade you do not expect to sit.
-Nelson Henderson, submitted by Nancy Arnold, Janesville WI

__BOULDER _________________________________

The purpose of life…
is to be useful,
to be honorable,
to be compassionate,
to have it make some difference
that you have lived and lived well.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson, submitted by Terry H., Franklin WI

__PONDER _________________________________

The quotes for this week were originally written in the hopes of inspiring people to think beyond their own concerns. For some of us, they could serve as a gentle reminder that a bit more of our time, energy and money could flow out into the universe to serve the larger community. For others, the pebbles and boulder might acknowledge our current and past efforts in serving the greater good. Whether you need a boost of encouragement, a pat on the back, or a little of both; I hope this week you can plant a tree and know that somewhere in the future a grateful person will enjoy the shade!

If you need a bit more inspiration, here is a story from the April 9,2008 edition of USA Today about this year’s “Caring Awards” honorees:
http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2008-04-07-caring-awards_N.htm

And if you need even MORE inspiration, here is a blog started by a member of The Ripples Project who lives in Seattle:
http://www.do-greater.com/

Peace,
Paul… Read More!

Ripples v7.33: SACRED RIPPLES!

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Ripples v7.33: SACRED RIPPLES!
Monday, September 5, 2005
a FREE weekly splash from Paul & The Ripples Project
spread a smile today: http://www.TheRipplesProject.org/Rippler01.html

=o=o=o=o=o=o=o= PEBBLE =o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o

A [person] is ethical only when life, as such, is sacred to him,
that of plants and animals as that of his fellow men, and
when he devotes himself helpfully to all life that is in need of help.
-Albert Schweitzer, submitted by From Terry H., Franklin, WI

=o=o=o=o=o=o=o= BOULDER =o=o=o=o=o=o=o

We do not come to believe in ourselves
until someone reveals that deep inside us
something is valuable,
worth listening to,
worthy of our trust,
sacred to our touch.
-source unknown, submitted by Terry H., Franklin WI

=o=o=o=o=o=o=o= PONDER =o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o

I am guessing that many of us have been overwhelmed by the events of last week in southeastern U.S.

Rebecca R. from Baton Rouge and a long time member of The Ripples Project requested we all send a big heap of encouragement/hope/love/prayers in their direction. Another great friend of ours, Marge A. from Madison, Wisconsin (where The Ripples Project is headquartered) informed us of a remarkable local effort: 48 hours after a social worker conceived an idea to provide housing for 20 families displaced by the hurricane, dozens of volunteers converged to begin preparing the twenty apartments that will hopefully be stocked with furniture, food, and a few months worth of supplies in the next few days. Physicians, dentists, and others have agreed to make their services available either free or at cost. Area churches quickly raised $10,000 on Sunday and of course much more will be needed. The displaced families are scheduled to arrive by the end of the week, and I am hoping we may be able to pitch in to help!

If you would be interested in helping Dane County, Wisconsin prepare for our small role in this massive relief effort, click here for more information: http://www.TheRipplesProject.org/20Families.html .

Many other organizations are attempting to raise funds also, and I would like your help in creating a massive sacred ripple (of hope, not water–they do not need any more water!!) to a few of them. The Ripples Project will match (up to $1,000) the total amount donated by Ripples members to the Red Cross and Second Harvest and DOUBLE match (up to $2,000) the total amount donated to the Katrina Disaster Fund which will be collected by the Dane County Credit Union for use in our local efforts to provide for the 20 families.

Please consider making a check to one of these organizations:
1) Katrina Disaster Fund,
2) American Red Cross, or
3) America’s Second Harvest

Mail your check TODAY to The Ripples Project, 1360 Regent St #342, Madison WI 53715
Checks must be received by September 16 so we can send them and the matching donation out to the respective organizations.
If you would rather donate directly, of course feel free to do that even though we won’t be matching those donations:
http://www.RedCross.org , http://www.SecondHarvest.org .

Of course, we … Read More!

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