EVERYDAY LESSONS: Learning from a Single Example

(Written on 6/3/2021 for DOC Morning Watch 7/17/2021)

INTRO

This entry is a transcribed version from a recent presentation. It has been modified to be “legible” for those who were not in the presentation, however it will be lacking the music, photos and videos used. Hopefully, the intent and point will come across anyway…

DISCOVERY

I love discovering life lessons in our world.

An empty playground, a rearview mirror, a stack of papers lying on a flat surface (aka “flat filing”), a discarded chair, an old barn, boxes of old photos, a highway exit sign or construction sign

Each one has attributes which lends itself to the creation of a story …a metaphor …an analogy …a life lesson.

And those metaphors, similes, analogies are ripe for the picking.

And yes, it’s early in the morning and our minds may not be working 100% yet.

Today, we are going to try to look at one life lesson brought to us by…

IN HONOR OF WORLD EMOJI DAY….

Cool, Clear Water

(play “Cool, Clear Water” by Sons of Pioneers)

MORE SPECIFICALLY…

A drop of water can transform the mundane into something exotic.

Here are a few ripples created by a drop.

Look closely and note the attributes & differences

(browse your favorite image site for still photos of water droplets striking a pool of water. Note the differences…)

A METAPHOR

Our lives & attitudes are influenced by the ripples created by the “drops” of everything and everyone around us.

So, take a couple of minutes and watch a few examples of ripple creation…using of course,

Water…Cool…Clear…Water

(again, watch closely and note the characteristics & differences)

(seek out some slow motion videos of: a single drop striking the water, a large object – rock—striking a pond surface, a video of the unseen and unnoted  effect of the “under the surface” action of a single drop)

SO WHAT’S THE POINT?

Let’s make some “popcorn” style observations about the ripples created in these photos and videos.

(take some time to jot down your observations of the reactions of the droplet, the generated ripples, and the under-the-surface effects)

NOW…Taking your observations of the previous photos and videos, think of the “droplet” as a moment of Kindness

For Example: Even a small act of kindness can create a ripple

…it can change someone’s mood, it can subtly help them to be kinder, it can help them embrace the day, it can…{your turn}

POINTS TO PONDER

Does each act of kindness have to be big to have an impact?

…Or be noticed? …Or be acknowledged? …Or be appreciated?

How do I feel when OTHERS are kind toward ME?

How do I feel when I am kind to OTHERS? Do I expect accolades or fanfare?

How do I feel when reflecting on past situations where kindness was called for, but I never answered the call? What did I learn?

How can we recognize moments and situations where kindness is called for, needed, and will make a difference? Should we be looking for those singular moments or…should we just be kind all the time? Watch out, kindness can be habit-forming!

SCRIPTURAL

Colossians 3:12

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

Galatians 5:22-23a

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

Proverbs 21:21

Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life, righteousness, and honor.

Zechariah 7:9

Thus says the Lord of hosts, render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another

SOBERING THOUGHTS

The point is…enough kindness shown will ripple out to others, will embed itself into our nature and will overflow to the world

Sobering point…unfortunately, the same can be said for any emotion/value we focus on, both positive and negative: just think of parts of the world where anger is the ripple or sadness…

So let us turn around and embrace the ripples we make with kindness, hope, compassion, and mercy. Use other words and create other “ripple” metaphor.

CLARITY & THE BEGINNING?

Let me be clear, this article is…

  • NOT about Kindness though it is good to get into the habit of being kind.
  • NOT about water…cool, clear water…though it is essential to daily living.
  • NOT about ripples though the metaphor plays a part in everything we say, do and think.

The point of today’s article is about the EVERYDAY LESSONS you glean from EVERYTHING around you…and a challenge to you (and me) to be an aware, observant student of life and the lessons imparted.