Ripples #1126: Accessing Peace

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Ripples #1126: Accessing Peace
Dec 21, 2020

We will have so much peace in our life if we stop trying to control what is not ours to control.
Fr. Joseph Krupp (found in a Facebook video)

The mind can go in a thousand directions, but on this beautiful path, I walk in peace. With each step, the wind blows. With each step, a flower blooms.
-Thich Nhat Hanh, shared by Keith in Lompoc, CA

Today’s pebble presented itself when I randomly stumbled upon a Facebook video of a priest responding to a concern about bawling babies at mass. His response was both light-hearted and also deeply profound: “When we have a little squeaker at mass and they are making a lot of noise, I assume the parents are doing the best they can and I assume I don’t know what I don’t know.” This seems like a gentle yet constructive way of remembering that what we observe in someone else’s behavior is such a tiny tip of the iceberg of what is going on in another human being’s life.

He then invites a shift in our experience of a crying baby, a pivot from annoyance to recognizing the blessing of new life. He even suggests we could use the situation to improve our concentration: “If you need perfect quiet to focus, you will never be able to focus.”

Peace remains elusive when imagined as a state of mind that we can achieve only when certain external conditions are just right. Peace is more accessible and more available by turning inward and remembering it is always there, patiently waiting for us to visit. So, the next time you’re feeling particularly unpeaceful, can you pause to take a few deep breaths (Here, Now!) and see if a peaceful feeling reveals itself.

Cultivating a culture of peace isn’t as simple as a deep breath, but here’s the deal: the more we access our inner peace, the more readily we can encourage peace in our relationships and throughout the world.

P.S. Another shoutout to my Patreon Peeps, a group of several dozen Ripplers pitching in to keep Ripples free and ad-free for all. Everyone who join us in 2020 will be considered a “founding member” and will be helping us launch several new initiatives. They’ll also receive a stream of bonus treats throughout 2021, so if you’ve been thinking of joining us, you’ve got 10 days left to make a splash:… Read More!

Ripples #904: Refracting Peace.

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Ripples #904: Refracting Peace.
Sept 19, 2016

It isn’t enough to talk about peace.
One must believe in it.
And it isn’t enough to believe in it.
One must work at it.
―Eleanor Roosevelt, shared by Julie in Missoula, MT

Ultimately, we have just one moral duty: to reclaim large areas of peace in ourselves, more and more peace, and to reflect it towards others. And the more peace there is in us, the more peace there will be in our troubled world.
—Etty Hillesum (via Values.com 12/4/15)

Peace can be such an abstract concept; it can mean so many things to different people and can shift meaning as contexts change. I’ve been lately conceptualizing peace as having an internal aspect (serenity within oneself) and an external aspect (harmony between and among beings). I’m increasingly convinced that an important early step in reducing the amount of conflict in the world is to enlarge the quality and quantity of inner peace that is available to us individually. Finding time for reflection, relaxation, meditation, and/or prayer can strengthen our efforts to cultivate peace in our communities and in our world.

As we refine our own ability to calm anxieties, focus attention, and generally center ourselves, we naturally become both more inspired and more effective in addressing interpersonal conflicts. As we are more patient and compassionate with ourselves, we effortlessly extend patience and compassion to others, which expands our ability listen, to empathize, and to seek mutually beneficial resolutions to the inevitable conflicts that arise in life.

I invite you to join me in refracting peace this week, first by deepening the well of serenity within your own spirit and then making a conscious effort to bring more harmony to those around you.

The Ripples Guy
P.S. I initially described this week’s theme as “Reflecting Peace,” but that ultimately seemed too passive, like we were suppose to just mirror the peace we encounter. I was eventually energized by the idea of refraction; I imagined lightwaves of peace transforming as they passed through me and then continuing to spread out and enlighten others. Reflect on it, and if it makes sense to you, refract it as well!… Read More!

Ripples #817: Network of Mutuality.

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Ripples #817: Network of Mutuality.
Jan 19, 2015

We must come to see that the end we seek is
a society at peace with itself,
a society that can live with its conscience.
-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., shared by Isaac in Sedona, AZ

It really boils down to this:
that all life is interrelated.
We are all caught in an
inescapable network of mutuality,
tied into a single garment of destiny.
Whatever affects one directly,
affects all indirectly.
-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., shared by Mary in Birmingham, AL

Today we celebrate Martin Luther King Day which is the 3rd Monday each January: right around Dr. King’s birthday AND the anniversary of Ripples (16 years with a total of 817 Ripples— WOOHOO!). I’ve recently read several articles speculating how Dr. King might assess the state of our world if he were alive today. I find this to be a difficult hypothesis to explore, because it frequently causes me to wonder how things might be different if his life hadn’t been cut short.

My own assessment: we have accomplishments to be proud of, setbacks to be concerned about, and plenty of progress to continue making. I’m grateful that we have a national holiday for Dr. King that has evolved into a Day of Service, and I’m grateful for the ways in which we continue to educate ourselves about the vital contributions of Dr. King and many other African Americans that have helped shape the world in which we live. I think it is vital that we continue to educate ourselves about where we’ve been, the current state of things, and where we are headed.

Join me in honoring Dr. King’s legacy with some reflection, and perhaps a humble act of service.

The Ripples Guy
P.S. You’re welcome to review and share our compilation of Dr. King’s wisdom that we’ve rippled over the past 16 years:
https://www.facebook.com/notes/paul-wesselmann-the-ripples-guy/infinite-hope-selected-wisdom-from-dr-king/10150488952761662… Read More!

Ripples #765: Peaceful Communication!

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Ripples #765:  Peaceful Communication!
For our tribe of busy people who believe in
unleashing Ripples of compassion & kindness: uRock!
20 Jan 2014

Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek,
but a means by which we arrive at that goal.
-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

People fail to get along
because they fear each other;
they fear each other
because they don’t know each other;
they don’t know each other
because they have not
communicated with each other.
-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., submitted by Gwen in Coeur d’Alene, ID


Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!

Fifteen years ago this week we sent out our very first issue of Ripples to 75 people who agreed to help me pilot this quick splash of inspiration.  The following year, with over 1,000 subscribers and growing steadily, we began a tradition of sharing quotes from Dr. King each third Monday in January.  (The entire archive of Dr. King quotes we’ve unleashed in Ripples is available on our Facebook Page.)

Most weeks I still cannot grasp that Ripples continues to zoom out weekly, with nearly 30,000 subscribers joining us each Monday for a quick splash of inspiration.  I’m honored and humbled that so many of you come along for the ride, sharing quotes and kindness along the way.  Dr. King remains a significant inspiration for me, and I hope you’ll spend some time in service today, even if it as brief as direct eye contact, a warm smile, or a quick favor for someone who needs to know they matter.

BIG NEWS: we’ve updated our nifty “39 Ripples” iPhone app! As you share more quotes with others via Facebook, Twitter, text, or email, more quotes are unleashed for YOU to enjoy.  To celebrate our 15 year anniversary, we’ve priced it at .99 for the next 15 days (and then it will still be a ripply value at $1.99)  Check it out here:  (Android version may be coming soon!)

Paul… Read More!

Ripples v5.02: Ripples of DR. KING!

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

We must remember that intelligence is not enough.
Intellegence plus character, that is the goal of a true education.
-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., submitted by Erin C., Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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

Hatred and bitterness
can never cure the disease of fear;
only love can do that.

Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it.
Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it.
Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.
-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., submitted by Carrie S.

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

As we dive into our fifth year of sending out Ripples, you should
know that Dr. King was an important influence as we formed this
experiment in encouraging kindness. Most of know about his dream of
a world where race had no role in who you lived next door to, where
you worked, and who you spent time with. He pursued his dream with
passion, and he believed that if we wanted Peace, we needed to
practice Peace!

Let us keep Dr. King’s dream alive by finding a way to extend Peace
today. For you that may mean vocalizing your opinion about Iraq or
North Korea or the Middle East. Peace may involve forgiving a family
member or asking a co-worker to forgive you. Peace may simply mean
holding the door for someone at the grocery store or not honking your
horn at the car in front of you who just made a right hand turn
without signaling. However you choose to express it, remember that
by extending Peace to the world, you allow Peace into yourself!

I offer you always….Peace,
Paul… Read More!

eRipples v3.38: Ripples of PEACE!

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eRipples: Your Free Weekly Splash of Inspiration
from Paul & The Ripples Project
eRipples v3.38: Ripples of PEACE!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~ PEBBLES ~*~*~*~*~*~*~

If we make our goal to live a life of
compassion and unconditional love,
then the world will indeed become a garden
where all kinds of flowers can bloom and grow.
-Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, submitted by Jennifer

Peace is not something you wish for.
It is something you make, something you do,
something you are, and something you give away.
– Robert Fulghum (originally rippled in Ripples v1.15)

~*~*~*~*~*~*~ BOULDERS ~*~*~*~*~*~*~

We who lived in concentration camps can remember those who walked
through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread.
They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that
everything can be taken from a person but one thing: the last of the
human freedoms . . . to choose one’s attitude in any given set of
circumstance, to choose one’s own way.
-Viktor Frankl, submitted by Phyllis

Deep peace of the running wave to you,
Deep peace of the flowing air to you,
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you,
Deep peace of the shining stars to you,
Deep peace of the gentle night to you,
Moon and stars pour their healing light on you.
Deep peace to you.
-Bill Douglas, submitted by Kevin (originally rippled
in Ripples v1.48)

~*~*~*~*~*~*~ PONDER ~*~*~*~*~*~*~

I ventured into airspace this week to spend Saturday in Pennsylvania with
an amazing group of resident assistants (students who help their peers
survive and thrive in college). I ended the day with these words:

“Many of us are feeling totally helpless in this aftermath of horror: We ask
ourselves, “What can we do if we live far away from New York &
Washington?” It turns out there IS something very significant that we all
need to do: CREATE RIPPLES OF PEACE! Every kind act you commit
creates ripples that will reach beyond the intended target. Ripples will
reach everyone in your community. Ripples will reach New York. Ripples
will reach Washington. Ripples will reach the Middle East. Ripples will
reach Ireland. Ripples will reach everywhere in the world that needs
peace. And please remember that everywhere in the world needs peace!”

I urge you to spend extra time this week creating ripples of peace. Say
“thank you,” forgive someone, wave at your neighbors, buy lunch for a
stranger, high-five your boss, look in the mirror and say “Hello!” If you’re
feeling really brave, try sending a ripple of peace to someone who
“doesn’t deserve it” and see how powerful that experience can be!

To expand upon a phrase I’ve heard frequently this week: “God Bless The

Peace,… Read More!

eRipples v2.51: Ripples of OVERCOMING ADVERSITY

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eRipples: a free weekly splash of inspiration
version 2.51 [Monday, December 18, 2000]

PEBBLE ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

When life is difficult
it acquires a higher value.
-Edward Abbey, written above the desert exhibit at the North Carolina
Zoological Park

BOULDER ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

The Meaning of Peace

There was once a king who offered a prize to the artist who would
paint the best picture of peace. Many artists tried. The king
looked at all the pictures, but there were only two he really liked,
and he had to choose between them.

One picture was of a calm lake. The lake was a perfect mirror for
the peaceful towering mountains all around it. Overhead was a blue
sky with fluffy white clouds. All who saw this picture thought that
it was a perfect picture of peace.

The second picture had mountains, too. But these were rugged and
bare. Above was an angry sky from which rain fell, and in which
lightening played. Down the side of the mountain tumbled a foaming
waterfall. This did not look peaceful at all.

But when the king looked, he saw behind the waterfall a tiny bush
growing in a crack in the rock. In the bush a mother bird had built
her nest. There, in the midst of the rush of angry water, sat a
mother bird on her nest . . . a picture of perfect peace.

Which of the pictures won the prize? The king chose the second
picture. Do you know why?

“Because,” explained the king, “peace does not mean to be in a place
where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. Peace means to be in
the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart. That
is the real meaning of peace.”
-unknown, submitted by: Angela DiVito, Central Michigan University

PONDER ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Are you waiting for it to get easier? It probably will get easier at some point. It is definitely going to get more difficult at some other point. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and gently remind yourself that you CAN handle it. You can.

I believe in you!

Paul… Read More!

Ripples v1.48: Ripples of PEACE

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Ripples: a free weekly dose of inspiration from Stone Soup Seminars
version 1.48 [Monday, December 13, 1999] ©1999 Stone Soup Seminars

PEBBLE ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

First keep the peace within yourself,
then you can also bring peace to others.
original source: Thomas A. Kempis, submitted by Aimee

BOULDER ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Deep peace of the running wave to you,
Deep peace of the flowing air to you,
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you,
Deep peace of the shining stars to you,
Deep peace of the gentle night to you,
Moon and stars pour their healing light on you.
Deep peace to you.
original source: Bill Douglas, submitted by Kevin

PONDER ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

On Friday, I officially ended my “Stone Soup” year with an address to the
Colorado Society of Association Executives. We ended our time together with
a commitment to create a more peaceful planet by creating more peace in our
own lives.

This message was reflected in a magnificent choral number my friend Kevin
and I enjoyed at a holiday concert in Boulder on Sunday evening (see the
Boulder above).

I challenge each of us to spend some energy this week making peace in our
lives. Right an old wrong, offer some assistance to someone in need, or
make an attempt to be more gentle with YOURSELF. Your efforts create a
more peaceful planet for us all!

Peace to you!

Paul… Read More!

Ripples v1.15: RIPPLES OF PEACE..…

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Ripples, version 1.15 [4/26/99] An electronic postcard from Stone Soup

PEBBLE ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Peace is not
something you WISH for.

Peace is
something you MAKE,
something you DO,
something you ARE
something you GIVE AWAY.

Original Source: Robert Fulghum (submitted by me–not due to a lack of
wonderful submissions–I just thought we needed to think about PEACE this

PONDER ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

This week gave me the opportunity to spend time with folks from the
Illinois Dept on Aging in Chicago, Bloomington, and Mt. Vernon before
dashing off to Milwaukee to spend a day at Pius XI High School and then an
evening at a leadership retreat for high school students interested in
learning about diversity. In the middle of my travels, I was stunned by
the news from Littleton, Colorado. I think many of us feel completely
helpless as we hear about yet another act of unthinkable violence. Add to
that the daily horror stories from Kosovo, and it just seems unbearable.

While these problems may seem overwhelming, I am convinced we can bring
about peace in the world by creating peace in our own lives. A simple yet
powerful response to the acts in Kosovo and Littleton: make peace with
someone in your life. Whether it is a family member, coworker, neighbor,
classmate, or former friend, your efforts will create ripples of peace that
will reach Littleton, Kosovo, Ireland, the Middle East, and everywhere that
peace needs to be.… Read More!

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