"My grandfather took me to the fish pond on the farm when I was about seven, and he told me to throw a stone into the water. He told me to watch the circles created by the stone. Then he asked me to think of myself as that stone person.
'You may create lots of splashes in your life but the waves that come from those splashes will disturb the peace of all your fellow creatures,' he said. 'Remember that you are responsible for what you put in your circle and that circle will also touch many other circles. You will need to live in a way that allows the good that comes from your circle to send the peace of that goodness to others. The splash that comes from anger or jealousy will send those feelings to other circles. You are responsible for both.'
That was the first time I realized each person creates the inner peace or discord that flows out into the world. We cannot create a peaceful world if we are riddled with inner conflict, hatred, doubt, or anger. We radiate the feelings and thoughts that we hold inside, whether we speak them or not. Whatever is splashing around inside of us is spilling out into the world, creating beauty or discord with all other circles of life."
The story reminds us that for the good of others, and ourselves, we often need an “attitude adjustment.” Just as the power of grace can spread and change the world in which we live, so can the power of the negative. It is much easier to slip into the negative mode. Like gravity, the negative downward pull of our selfish nature is very powerful. Grace can overcome, but not without effort and intent.
Reprinted from Grace Drops, Volume 8 (2010).