Rippling

“Rippling refers to the fact that each of us creates—often without our conscious intent or knowledge—concentric circles of influence that may affect others for years, even for generations. That is, the effect we have on other people is in turn passed on to others, much as the ripples in a pond go on and on until they’re no longer visible but continuing at a nano level. The idea that we can leave something of ourselves, even beyond our knowing, offers a potent answer to those who claim that meaninglessness inevitably flows from one’s finiteness and transiency.” – Irvin Yalom, Staring at the Sun: Overcoming the Terror of Death. 

We all live. But what do we live for? Perhaps an answer lies in the idea of rippling. By affecting the lives of others through love, we open up their own possibilities of loving. By looking deeply into the eyes of a hurting person, we tell the person that she is deeply cared for, that her suffering is not unheard, and even if no immediate solutions are at hand, her life in the midst of this turmoil, is worth living. It has a meaning, even if that meaning may not be fully clear in the stormy seas of consciousness.

A little seed is then planted. It may not yield attractive flowers immediately. Yet, it is there and it shall be passed on to those who this person comes in touch with. A ripple is created. And the more conscious the seed is, the more this person plants it in others. Our love lives across relationships, and generations, in however small a measure.

Irvin Yalom

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~ by tdcatss on August 13, 2013.

One Response to “Rippling”

  1. […] Rippling (nookinthewoods.wordpress.com) […]

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