A line in my song “Prodigal Child” goes:
“I used to lie in the long grass and watch the clouds go by, as a child my world was happy, only people made me cry.”
Sadly today it is still people who make me cry. I will go so far as to say there is not a single thing wrong with this world today if it were not for people.... Or to be more precise, People Misbehaving.
I speak of course of the school shootings in Connecticut. I can handle the occasional natural disaster, but I can’t understand why people can’t behave properly and not kill other people. It makes me sad… It makes me cry.
It seems to me the biggest drive in life is to affect the lives of others. We can do this in a positive way or we can do it in a negative way; unfortunately many people do not figure this out.
Young people especially. Bullying, vandalism, destroying things, which if taken to extremes includes killing people; all effect the lives of others in a negative way. The events of yesterday were so horrendous they have now affected a whole nation, and even beyond.
If any good is to come from this insane act, it can only be that we need to realize and teach our children that this urge to affect the lives of others is natural.
It takes almost no thinking or effort to do this in a negative way; when with a small conscious effort it can be quite easy to do so in a positive way. Who knows what affect a simple smile, a kind word or action can have on the rest of the world.
Actions both good and bad have a ripple effect, cause a chain reaction so to speak.
Like a ripple, the affect has most of its power felt by those close to its source; further out the ripple has less affect.
A harsh word or unkind act can ruin someone’s day and may push someone who is unstable enough over the edge that they might just kill someone.
Giving the finger to a fellow traveler on the highway may cause that person to drive angrily and aggressively, causing a crash that kills someone.
On the other hand a simple smile or kind gesture might make someone’s day and that person may change their whole outlook on life and they become a better and happier person.
Large disturbances affect those close to it for a long time, further out from the source the ripples get smaller and people forget sooner.
On the other hand a small ripple started by a simple smile, if joined by enough other small ripples can form a large wave that travels far and affects a lot of people.