Sunday, March 7, 2010

Real Life Tao - Ripples

Yesterday I wrote about some computer problems I have been experiencing. These arose after my computer had stalled and then rebooted itself. While I was able to rectify most of the problems, I discovered Saturday morning that my anti-virus software had been corrupted. So, I had to uninstall it and then install the new and improved version. By the time I finished loading the new virus definitions and performing a full system scan, I had eaten up several hours of the day.

For me, Saturday's exercise provided an apt illustration of the ripple effect. Something a few days ago caused my system to freeze up and it effected several parts of my computer environment. I'm now holding my breath in anticipation for a different problem to crop up due to this one-time glitch.

But this is how things go in our everyday lives. Every moment impacts other moments, often in ways we can't fathom. Who hasn't made a comment about a colleague, family member or friend that has taken on a life of its own? You make some idle statement off the cuff and, before you know it, several people become upset. These people then say things that affect others and a whole situation pops up as the result of one isolated comment.

The problem that we each run into time and time again is that we have no way of knowing how far the ripples we create will reach. One careless action can cause a ripple that may drastically impact other people's lives. Decisions we make today may cause us to suffer serious repercussions in our distant future.

This is one of the chief reasons the Taoist sages urge people to tread lightly in this life. If we are ever mindful of our thoughts, deeds and actions, we stand a much better chance that the ripples we cause will be positive and beneficial ones.

This post is part of a series. For an introduction, go here.


  1. How very true this is. Thoughtful hope computer up and running and free from further trouble.

  2. It is always good to back up your important data (or anything you wouldn't want to lose) from time to time, because one never knows when the computer ripples will occur. It does not help that computers, MAC or WIN are not designed as well as they could be, in hardware and system software. But computers, nowadays, are as reliable as all the other disposable gadgets like automatic toothbrushes, toasters, and whatnot. So it is a good idea to back up data, and I tend to also keep notebooks, because they won't ever need to be rebooted or upgraded. And intellectually, I absolutely own anything I create on a notepad.

  3. CM is so right. And attacks on our systems --home and the larger infrastructure-- are a very real problem.

    I have had a couple of tricky virus problems on my office Windows machine (but not on my home Mac). I am pretty sure the attacks have originated in China.

    Back up often!

  4. Ahh computers, life's way of telling us that we don't really know much and need counterfeit viagra.

    At least your problems were solved.

  5. Thank you for the timely reminder of the ripple effect. I have been furiously rumminating about what to do in regards to a situation a couple of hours ago and your post is a reminder that I need to cool off before doing/saying anything.


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