Our words and actions rarely occur in a vaccuum. They affect others, for good or ill. We fail to see it, but the fact remains.
Our poorly-timed jests could hurt others more than humor them. They may carry the embarrassment long after the laughter. A passing kind word we utter may be the only kindness the recipient hears that day. To us, the action is small, but others hold onto it.
And we may not realize it at the time. Or ever.
This of course affects their actions. The cruel word from husband to wife leads to the wife’s impatience to their child, leading to the child’s lashing at the sibling, which in turn leads to the sibling’s lashing at the father, and the cycle continues. Violence. Cruelty. Bitter words. These rarely land without affect, and the affect rarely remains isolated.
But this coin can flip. The smallest gesture can have ripples of good. A well-timed compliment can ignite another’s kindness. That cycle too can continue, and a household of grace can become a place of recurring warmth.
Tonight I am asking myself, what kind affect on the world I want to have tomorrow. In times like these, I feel drawn toward the negative, but I want to strive toward the other. I want to do right, to be a blessing, not a burden. I’m not at good it…but I strive nonetheless.