RIPPLES OF LOVE
Stories and Poems
HEDWIG LEWIS SJ
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took me to a fish pond when I was about seven, and he told me to throw a stone
into the water.
Then he asked me to think of myself as a stone person.
“You will create lots of splashes on the universal pond of life,” he said, “and the waves created by those splashes will disturb the peace of Mother Earth and all her creatures.”
“Remember always that you are responsible for the circles you make – your circles will also touch many other circles. It is best to live in a way that allows the good that comes from your circles to send the peace of that goodness to others
Also remember that the splash which comes from anger or jealousy will send ripples of those feelings to other circles. You are responsible for both.”
The above story focuses on the power of “rippling”. One small action of a single individual ripples outwards and affects the lives of others, who in turn affect others, and so on. Psychologists refer to it as “the ripple effect”.
Our attitudes, behaviour and actions make a difference in the lives of others – for better or for worse. Whether we are conscious of it or not, we are constantly creating ripples, impacting the lives of others.
The stories and poems in this book are the pebbles – life’s concrete realities – that are tossed into the ocean of knowledge. They are meant to enlighten, inspire and motivate you. When you take the story to mind and heart and translate it into action, you create a splash and a ripple.
All stories and poems are positively oriented. Positive thinking and positive action are essential to creating an atmosphere of “love”. It is hoped that each story and reflection will help you make an impact on your own life and help you initiate “ripples of love” that will spread far and wide.
These stories and poems have been used by the author often in his Value Education classes, Personal Growth workshops and Personality Development camps for youth. It is hoped that teachers in all professions will find in this book an abundance of materials that can be used as effective educational tools for group activities and individual reflection.
Have you a kindness shown?
Did you hear a loving word?
1. Chain of love
The popular song “The Chain of Love”, sung by Clay Walker, tells a heart-rending story.
A man was driving home one wintry evening in his battered Pontiac when an old lady stranded on the side of the road, flagged him down. In the dim light of day, he could see she needed help, so he parked his car next to her Mercedes, which he noticed had a flat tire. She looked frightened, so he introduced himself as Joe and asked if he could help her. She thanked Joe, explained how over a hundred cars had passed by but had not stopped to help.
When he had changed the tire, closed her trunk, and was about to drive away, she asked him gratefully how much she owed him.
Joe said: “You don’t owe me a thing, I’ve been in a similar situation once and someone helped me out, just the way I’ve done to you. If you really want to pay me back, here’s what you can do. Don’t let the chain of love end with you.” And he drove off.
The lady, too, started her car. Somewhere down the road she saw a small café and went in to grab a bite to eat. She couldn’t help but notice how the pleasant waitress was pregnant and expecting a baby soon. Yet, the lady though, she must be low on funds and had to do this tiring job.
When the waitress went to get her change, the lady scribbled a note on a napkin, placed a hundred dollar bill besides it and slipped right out the door. When the waitress returned, she read what was written: “You don’t owe me a thing, I’ve been in a similar situation once and someone helped me out, just the way I’ve done to you. If you really want to pay me back, here’s what you can do. Don’t let the chain of love end with you.”
Whether we are conscious of it
or not, we are constantly creating ripples, impacting the lives of others. This
sentence from the author’s ‘Foreword’ (p6) perhaps best describes what he has
been doing for many years now. Hedwig Lewis has been creating ripples with the
32 books he has authored so far, many of which have been bestsellers. He is a
wonderful collector of anecdotes, stories, poems, and quotes – arranging them
under headings that readers to find exactly what they are looking for when
preparing speeches, value-education inputs, camp material, workshops or