When Ripples Have Ripples

Trust the ripples.”  That’s a teaching I’ve embodied from years of involvement with ServiceSpace.

The gist of ripple-trusting (or is it the gift of ripple-trusting?) is this:  Do small acts of kindness.  Recognize each tiny act matters.  Know that kind acts inspire other kind acts.  Trust that every kindness, no matter how small, can ripple around the world to magnify and expand.

When I returned from India, I needed to Ripple Big.  I was homesick for the grace-infusion I experienced there.  The antidote for my homesickness was kindness.  So I served where I could. I rippled where possible.  I talked about rippling in church

With this additional focus on ripples, I was privileged to see that ripples have ripples.

Here’s an example:

Last week, Sue sent me an email.  Sue attends our Spiritual Center, where she is active as a writer, speaker, speech coach, ministry leader, and more.  She has a big heart and a knack for calling forth blessings.  Sue wrote:

How I Ended Up Buying Ice Cream for 4 Wet Guys in Saffron Robes

Today I had the day off and the world was my oyster. I had been reading some of your blog posts and thinking about Nipun and you and India, and how it had all affected us in so many ways. I thought “I should do an act of kindness.”

I went down to the harbor to get my planner in order for the next few months. I got a latte and sat outside, watching the water and the people and the birds.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw something unusual – guys wearing saffron robes heading into the ice cream store. I had no idea how many of them there were, but I knew what my act of kindness was going to be. I was going to buy monks ice cream! 

I raced down to the ice cream store and found them deep in the decision-making process. Their friend, Arjay, talked to me. He said they were not monks but Hindu priests, fresh back in the US from training in India. They had been kayaking and their robes were all wet.

Arjay was delighted that I was buying ice cream and asked about my spiritual path and I told him about VCSL and your travels to India.

He ran out to his car and got me chocolates – he said a tradition in India is to give sweets when you meet someone, to leave a sweet impression. He also gave me a brochure about their temple and invited me to visit.

The ripples of Service Space continue out and back. 

Sue Davis

Sue’s ripples brought me joy.  Because what really happened?  Something rippled to Sue to inspire ice-cream action.  Something inevitably will ripple through the “four wet guys.”  They will pay it forward.  Through all of us, a quiet grace will infiltrate the world.

What an honor it is to participate in a life changing, hope inspiring path, especially now….




We may face big problems – in our lives, in our country, in our world.

But we can remember, underneath all adversity exists the undertow of the kind.  Beside conflict and division, people do the work of oneness.  When tragic greed or selfishness grabs our attention, some good soul buys ice cream for strangers….

And this is what counts, this is “the real.”  Not the adversity, not the conflict, not the news stories that compete for ratings – but the quiet work of ordinary people enacting the narrative of Oneness.

How will you participate?  Will you give Sue’s ripples ripples?  Will you do an act of kindness inspired by her action?  Will you write about it in the comments section so that others may ripple by means of your ripples? 

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4 Responses to When Ripples Have Ripples

  1. Kishan says:

    Bonnie ji, as I was reading loving blog of yours, I witnessed a young man leaving for his work on a bike carrying rotis (Indian breads) in his hand. The first thing he did on his way was to offer it to a cow. The cow is munching the roti right now and the young man on his way to work must be offering rotis to other cows. As I grew up in this place, I am certain that it’s his regular routine. He must have picked it up from his father and his father from his grandfather…

    Witnessing the cows munching with. joy I got reminded of you feeding the cows when you were in india. Whenever I think of it, I feel inspired- the grace you showered , feeding 5-8 cows in a go (simultaneously) and the way cows were pursuing your subtle instruction was as if they knew you since years and were trained to receive food from yoa. I recollect the shawl you gifted to the grass seller, who was amazed witnessing your generosity. Reading about the ripples, I want to convey to you that th seeds of compassion and love you planted during your stay in india, are inspiring me and many others. Deep gratitude for your perseverance in your practices and sharing with grace.


  2. Thanks Bonnie,
    So true, as another famous Mother declared, “but we can do small things with great love”.
    Happy Mother’s Day to all.

    Love and blessings,
    Mike Stilinovich


  3. brocktravis3 says:

    May loving kindness ripple across the world!


  4. Rebecca Herrera says:

    The Ripple is happening!!


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