Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Looking Back to 2008: Pebbles

Original post date: December 25, 2008

Last night my wife and I engaged in our annual viewing of It's a Wonderful Life. While the vehicle used to tell the story is an angel, the underlying theme smacks of Taoism.

We are each one small pebble. Any time we are dropped into a pool of water, this action causes ripples and these ripples multiply out from the center in all directions. Often, the ripples themselves are of a greater magnitude than the initial action. They touch others far and wide.

Because the stream of life is so vast, we typically aren't able to view how far the ripples spread. One seemingly inconsequential action can cause a reaction far from the original source.

What's more, since every entity causes ripples, it's often difficult to tell the ripples made from our small pebble from all the others. In essence, all we really see is the movement of water without understanding that this movement is propelled by billions upon billions of ripples caused by billions upon billions of small pebbles.

To be certain, while all pebbles are small in relation to the entirety of the cosmos, some are slightly bigger than others. People tend to become fixated on the ripples caused by the slightly larger pebbles and to discount the ripples made by the smallest pebbles. However, since none of us can know which ripples will ultimately have the greatest effect, it makes far more sense to treat them all equally.

Every journey begins with one step; every wave is launched by one ripple.
This marks the end of this journey down memory lane. It's time again to refocus on the here-and-now. To read the intro to this retrospective series of posts, go here.


  1. not related to this specific post, but stumbled across the following, and thought you might find it of interest:

    The Tao of Quakerism from the LA Quaker blog of Anthony Manousos, Monday, November 22, 2010.


  2. You always provide such interesting links!! Good reading. Keep 'em coming.


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