Pebbles & Ripples


My objective is to provoke you to action.


Each bedrock life strategy demands a response

      a simple action to effectively activate it.


Why is action so important?


Do you realize just how many ripples

     a small pebble can make!


Here is a humorous story to illustrate my point.


On a pleasant Sunday afternoon stroll around their block,

     a rabbi and his wife noticed extraordinary changes

     to a neighbor’s house and yard.


Complimenting their neighbors, they asked,

     “What inspired these amazing improvements?”


The wife hesitated and then replied,

     “Well, actually two broken tiles in the bathroom needed replacing.”


Seeing the incredulous look of the rabbi’s face, she continued…


“We couldn’t find the exact matching color,

     so we redid all of them.

Then the wallpaper looked ugly and old,

     so we did that too.

The medicine cabinet seemed decrepit,

     so we replaced it.

The bathroom became the nicest room in the house,

     but when we walked into the hallway,

     the rug looked so shoddy that we decided

     to pull it up and polish the floors.

The front window was a dull match for the shiny new floors

     so we decided to go deep pocket and install bay windows.

When we looked out from the bay windows

     we noticed how unkempt the lawn had become,

     so we called a landscaper who created

     this lovely Chinese ornamental garden!” *


We laugh . . .

     but this story reveals a hidden dynamic of life most of us miss.


For whatever reason—

        procrastination, inaction, indifference, laziness

     we never throw even a pebble into the pool.

       We don’t take action

     Not even a small, seemingly inconsequential action!


   Or worse—

     reacting in frustration or anger,

     we throw a boulder into the pool

     only to have it splash up in our face!


Not fully present nor fully engaged in the moment

        we miss a new perspective each ripple creates.


With a new perspective we see

     not only the beauty & improvement created by pro-action,

     we see our next small step of action forward.


As we take action

     momentum carries us step by step

          until we’re living in a beautiful house

          surrounded by a lovely designer garden.


The fragmented, sooted emotions & thoughts

     that filled our ‘house

          are fully refurbished

 and our conversation and conduct

     provide a pleasant stop for all who happen to pass by.


That’s the power of one small action–

     the ripple effect of one small pebble!


Remember, it only took ‘one small stone’

     to fell the giant Goliath!



The Sage


(*adapted from: “Growing Forever” by Rabbi Label Lam © 2007)


(photo by: Just2shutter,