THUNDER BAY – Saturday morning I went to find a coffee. It was morning and like many across North America, a jolt of hot coffee is a way to start the morning. Sitting at a Food Court table was a young person looking a little down. The person didn’t have a coffee. So instead of a large, I got two smalls. I walked over, put the coffee down in front of the person and said, you look like you needed a coffee.
The smile was payment enough. Passing a little humanity forward to another fellow human being. It is called many things. I think my favorite is “The Ripple Effect”.
The Ripple Effect is something I learned about this summer when a young man shared how a ‘free donut’ saved his life. Daniel Sakchekapo says that he is living proof that something as simple as an act of kindness can change the world.
‘Free donuts’ at the Regional Multicultural Youth Centre here in Thunder Bay were the impetus for opening new opportunities for the young street kid.
“I was so hungry, so I walked in and asked for a donut.”
Over those donuts, the young man was slowly exposed to new ideas, and they helped him to change directions in his life.
This summer, Daniel returned to Thunder Bay again, he works in Winnipeg now as a youth worker helping other at risk youth.
His message was direct and simple. He called it “The Ripple Effect” – he said that sharing with people, even a simple hello on the street as someone walks by can make a huge difference in their day. You might be the only person in some cases who shares a good word and a smile with that person.
It might sound strange to think that way, but for many in our cities, the sidewalks are lonely places.
The Ripple Effect is like tossing a pebble into the centre of a pond. The ripples heading ever outward from the centre are the result of your action.
‘Every action has an equal and opposite reaction’ – That message comes from science, and it also applies in life. The negatives that many might feel can be countered by a little positive energy shared their way.
Taking a moment to share a human experience is a step toward a better society.
It might sound idealistic or even way too hopeful to work.
Always remember that if a donut can save a life, and a smile can brighten a day, then it is worth the effort.
It isn’t hard either. Ready to give it a try Thunder Bay?