posted Apr 25, 2011, 9:03 AM by David Smith
Cause and effect refers to the philosophical concept of causality, in which an action or event will produce a certain response to the action in the form of another event.
Last Thursday, I read a Lent devotion in the Oklahoman written by Sherri Coale, the head coach of the OU Women's basketball team and it was entitled...Each action has a ripple effect on someone else. In the devotion Sherri referred to her going pond fishing with her father when she was a child. She said she was mesmerized by watching the ripple effect of her fathers lure plopping down in the middle of the pond, and how the ripples went outward until they reached the shore and touched the earth. She was amazed by how something so small and slight, could be so persistent in reaching out. This continued to amaze her until one day it dawned on her that  it was simple... everything matters.
Trying not to plagiarize what Sherri wrote, I will say that she hit the nail on the head. Everything we do....everyone we meet...every action we take...impacts someone...somewhere...in some way.  The smallest word, gesture, or even eye contact...can have an effect on a person for better or for worse. Even the tone of our voice in talking with someone can make a difference.
When I read this, I was reminded of something that happened many years ago when I was a young restaurant manager. I would come into the restaurant at 6 AM....go straight to the coffee pot...grab a cup of coffee and go to my office...all without speaking, or at the least barely speaking to anyone. I might have mumbled a good morning once or twice. One day...one of the waitresses grabbed me as
I was getting a cup of coffee and said to me.... why are you so unfriendly? I mumbled something about not meaning to be and she told me that the staff was pretty sure I didn't like any of them and
a lot of them were about to quit! I resolved that day to begin each day by greeting everyone on duty with a smile and a good morning...before doing anything else. It began to make a huge difference in the mood of the staff and the atmosphere of the restaurant every day.
Many, if not most of us are unaware of the ripples we cause unless someone does bring them to to our attention. And that's ok...but we need to be aware that our actions....our words...our tone of voice...all make a difference. This difference can be for better or worse.
I was recently sent a story about a teacher who made a difference in her student's lives by giving them a ribbon that said: who I am does make a difference. She asked each student to pass that along to someone else and gave each student 3 ribbons to share. As the story unfolds a student gives one to a mentor, the mentor gives one to his boss, and the boss gives one to his son....who unbeknown to his parents was about to commit suicide because he believed that his parents didn't care about him.
Who you are....and what you do or say....does make a difference in this world....to someone that you come into contact with. Keep that in mind as you go about your daily life.
Hope to see you in the pews on Sunday.....