Thursday, December 2, 2004

She's the sweetest - but somewhat reclusive - elderly woman you might meet. She's had a full life up until this point in her journey; career, marriage, family life. Sadly enough, her husband passed away a number of years and eventually she has found herself in this assisted living center, among numerous strangers for the remainder of her days. Well, at least they were strangers until an ordinary tin of holiday popcorn and pretzels arrived...

The simple tin of holiday popcorn and pretzels - chocolate-covered - arrived prior to the Christmas season to the assisted living center. It was simple gift from an anonymous donor for the holiday season and now it was sitting on the table of the community hall in the center. She sat quietly off to the side of the room, reading a book, when she noticed it and those gathered around, sampling its contents. Taking a risk, she stepped forward and asked if she might have a sample of the holiday treat. And that's where the conversation started and the friendship began among those gathered around the simple tin. This woman's holiday and life would be forever changed for the better...

It was a simple tin of five assorted chocolate popcorns and pretzels being sold by a newly initiated Tiger Cub of the Boy Scouts. As a first grader, he wanted to join the Boy Scouts simply to make a few new friends and the popcorn sale was part of his requirement for the annual Boy Scout fundraiser.

His father wanted to help out his son, so he posted an email to friends and family asking for their interest in an order of holiday popcorn.

It was his father's friend from across the United States that answered the email and stated that she wanted to help but didn't need the popcorn for herself. So she ordered the largest tin of assorted chocolate popcorn and pretzels and requested it be delivered to a nursing home or assisted living center...

And now you know the entire story and journey. It is the Ripple Affect, as I fondly refer to it, that sets into motion - unknown to us - some of Life's greatest and wonderful interventions and adventures for so many. No, not ripple effect, but rather ripple affect; those actions motivated by the heart - even though we can't be assured of the outcome - just because it feels like the right thing to do. Actions from the heart that warmly and mysteriously touch the hearts and souls of so many others in a grand domino effect, much to our unawareness.

How often in our lives - on a daily and weekly basis - we are invited to participate in the Ripple Affect through a kind word, a smile, an unselfish deed, or a word of encouragement. Never having a clue or premonition how far that kind word or gesture will ripple outward through humanity.

Now tell me again how you feel that sometimes you have no effect on the world around you?

hoedl's haven
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