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As a youngster, did you play that game of skipping pebbles across a river? What fun that was… the simple, rewarding pleasure of seeing how many times you could get a flat stone to bounce across the top of the water. Add some mates and a friendly bit of rivalry would ensue to see who could skip the stone the most number of times? It was good old-fashioned fun.
When you throw a pebble like this, it skims across the water creating ripples at each touch point. It’s fascinating to watch the effect of the pebble on the water as it moves into the distance. The sun glinting off the water as the pebble disturbs the calm surface, skip, skip, skip.
Each of us is like the pebble as we move through life, causing waves by the things we do and how we treat other people. Our behaviour creates ripples that affect those around us in both positive and negative ways. Much like the pebble moving across the water, it’s impossible not to make waves, it’s simple cause and effect.
So it’s important to try and be kind. It’s such a simple, yet powerful value. What you do does make a difference even if you think it doesn’t. Being kind also adds to your own happiness and well-being. I think it’s innate in all of us to try and help others. We are born with the seeds of altruism to help us get on with others and create a sense of belonging as a society.
That’s why meanness is not a natural human state. It’s a sign that something has gone wrong. Being mean is also like poison to us humans. It does as much harm to the doer as the receiver. It hurts you in ways you can’t foresee and it goes against your natural way of being.
It seems as if there’s an epidemic of meanness in the world at the moment. The anonymity of social media has added to this by breeding an environment of random nastiness. I cringe at the sight of reality shows where people abuse each other with spiteful comments, even having a go at perfect strangers they hardly know!
The need to pull someone else down is often an attempt to boost oneself up, it’s a sign of a weak ego. But it doesn’t work in the long term and is toxic from the inside out.
As Ben Lee sings, ‘We’re all in this together.’ Let’s help each other by being kind. It costs us nothing and creates ripples outwards that are felt long after the deeds are done.
‘Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.’ (Ian Maclaren)
Take care and be kind to each other
P.S. The stone skipping world record is 88 skips!