Your life doesn't make a bit of a difference. And there's no such thing as a ripple effect anymore. That's because in today's hyper-connected world, our actions don't create ripples... they create waves.
A couple of months ago, I wrote a blog called "My sister's unpredictable life." I wrote it because so many people ask me what my sister is doing in Costa Rica. I think most of them think she's on one long vacation.
So I wanted to answer that question for people, acknowledge the choices that she's made, and the challenges she's faced as a result of choosing such an atypical life.
After the article went live on the Huffington Post, a group at Facebook called "Facebook Stories" saw my blog and decided to do a short film about my sister and I for National Siblings Day. I was shocked that they had seen my post, and even more shocked (and honored) that they were willing to send a film crew all the way to Costa Rica and New York City to capture our story.
Today is #NationalSiblingsDay, and we're celebrating the lifelong connection of siblings, no matter how far apart life takes them.Danielle and Jaime Posa are sisters with a special bond. Even though they live thousands of miles away from each other, they've become closer than ever.
Posted by Facebook Stories on Friday, April 10, 2015
The video was posted on April 10th. It's been viewed 167,000 times and has been shared by 200 people. And aside from the social media impact, we've had people reach out to us to tell us how the video inspired them to reconnect with a sibling who they haven't spoken to in a while, or to simply acknowledge their family members in some way.
On a personal level, the experience made me realize how lucky I am to have the kind of relationship that I do with Jaime as well as my other sisters, Christina and Amanda. It created new excitement and energy amongst our whole family, extended family, and friends. It even caused us to reconnect with people from our small hometown who have known us ever since we were little kids.
The point is, that one post created a wave.
There's a quote that I love by Christine Miller that says,
When we focus our energy on constructing a passionate, meaningful life, we are tossing a pebble into the world, creating a beautiful ripple effect of inspiration. When one person follows a dream, tries something new or takes a daring leap, everyone nearby feels the energy and before too long they are making their own daring leaps and inspiring yet another circle.
I love that quote because I don't think we are always aware of how far our ripples go. I certainly wasn't.
Every action begins with a thought. I had the thought that I should write something about my sister. That thought made it to my to-do list... then it turned into a blog post... then a video... then it was seen by thousands... and even caused people to take new actions in their own lives.
We never know exactly how many people are listening to what we say, watching what we do, or reading what we post... but we'd be crazy to think that it's anything less than a whole lot.
Harvard University professor, Nick Christakis, says in his book Connected,
...we should remember how small the world is. If we are connected to everyone else by six degrees and [science proves] we can influence them up to three degrees, then one way to think about ourselves is that each of us can reach about halfway to everyone else on the planet.
Our thoughts matter, our actions matter, and therefore our lives matter more now than ever before.
We don't create ripples... we #makewaves.