Standing on the shores of a still pond, pebble in hand, you admire the mirror like reflection bouncing off of the top of the water. You toss the pebble in, and a series of small ripples flow outward from where the pebble just landed. Slowly but surely, the entire body of water is touched by the movement of this single pebble, ripples eventually making their way to the shore.
As I handed out red ribbons a few days ago to a group of individuals and began explaining the Rock the Red event coming up next month, one of the young men spoke up,
“There’s no way that 1 person can make a big difference?” He said as he examined the red ribbon in his hand. “So why do this?” The young man was puzzled and unsure how wearing a simple red ribbon could have any kind of impact at all.
“We’re spreading awareness!” is what I told him. “Someone is bound to ask you what you are wearing red for and you will tell them that you’re Rocking the Red for Women with Heart Disease.”
“But why only women?” he asked. And so began a brief conversation of why the focus was on the ladies and why it was important to discuss heart disease. Through maybe 10 minutes of speaking, I was able to offer some facts, some resources he could research online, as well as some personal tips I’ve learned from my own experiences-all of which he could take home and share with others. Later that evening, this individual reached out to me on messenger, thanked me for the information and shared with me the conversation he had with his mom. It was at this moment he realized that distributing a simple red ribbon sparked a conversation between us that ultimately resulted, in this case, him speaking to a loved one and encouraging her to seek out the medical care she needed because of the symptoms she had recently been experiencing. It was his “Ah-ha!” moment and he realized how a single person and a single red ribbon could create such a ripple effect and touch so many others. Needless to say, he was pumped when I told him I was able to mail him some ribbons he could share with his family and friends.
If you ever have doubts about how you can reach out and have an impact on the lives of others, remember, you to can be that tiny pebble creating ripples in the water.
“Just as ripples spread out when a single pebble is dropped in the water, the actions of individuals can have far reaching effects.” Dalai Lama