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It’s a fact of life that most of us are short-sighted when it comes to the ripples we create.  I still remember receiving a birthday card from my mother when I was in college that contained a short sentence of her confidence in me.  Unfortunately, the physical card is long gone — the victim of being given to an eighteen year-old with a teenager’s perspective on things that matter.

However, the words, the feelings expressed in that card live on to this day in my heart.  They are ripples that continue to grow and expand with each passing year.

Words of affirmation are like that.  Much beyond the initial splash they may create, the lasting effect comes from the way they ripple through our remaining years.  They become a point of reference that reminds us that though the world may seem a dark place, all is not lost.

Just the same, we are often guilty of creating ripples that may take years to undo or heal from.  One harsh word spoken in a moment of anger sets off ripples seen and unseen.  Whether a tsunami or a constant dribble, our words have the power to shape a person’s shoreline for years to come.

Let me encourage you to be more conscious of the ripples you’re creating.  Be intentional about creating good, positive ripples.  Say the kind word.  Write the card.  Make the phone call.  Be nice when you want to lash out.  Smile more often.  These seemingly innocuous parts of life are actually creating ripples.  If you’re going to leave a wake behind you, leave a good one.