Franciscan scientist and theologian, Ilia Delio, writes that, “We are in the universe and the universe is in us.”
An old boss of mine used to say, “Everything is connected to everything.”
What I breathe in. You breathe in. What I breathe out. You breathe out.
What I do matters to you. And what you do matters to me.
It matters to me that people are treated with dignity and respect. That kindness, compassion and tolerance prevail.
If I beat down my opponents, criticize and condemn those who go about creating their kind of “better world” in ways that do not match my idea of ‘better’, than I am contributing to discord not peace. In my harsh condemnation of another’s way, I am creating an environment where disrespect and intolerance prevail.
And that matters. Because whatever I do, someone else is impacted.
What I do matters.
What you do matters.
How we do what we do matters.
Because everything we do has an impact. It’s circle of influence may be small. It may be large. But it all has an impact. It all has a ripple.
Recently, while out shopping with my daughter and grandson, a man waited at the mall exit and held the door open for us.
It was a small act, but it, created a ripple of gratitude.
And gratitude has a way of passing itself along and becoming bigger.
All things are connected.
Yesterday, his act of grace reminded me of our capacity to be grace-filled in a moment when I really just wanted to be difficult.
I was stuck in a long line of traffic creeping into the downtown core. The left lane was closed ahead and cars were zippering into my lane on the right. As I reached the spot where the construction started, there were no more cars beside me. They’d all managed to slide into the right hand lane.
Except one driver.
He ignored the signs advising people to move into the right lane and drove right up to the construction area, turned on his right hand blinker and tried to edge into the lane.
I was about four cars back. Like the cars in front of me, I thought about making him wait for someone else to let him in. You know, teach him a lesson and all that jazz.
And then I remembered the gratitude I’d felt when the man held the door open for my daughter and me.
I chose to let the driver in.
It was better for my heart and soul.
In giving into grace, I got to free myself from the inner chatter about how the other driver was acting like a jerk. How I’d already let someone in. Yada. Yada. Yada.
All things are connected.
Small things make big waves. When I choose the path of peace and let go of criticizing and condemning, I am contributing to the creation of a more peaceful world.
When I give into grace and choose to create an environment where peace, love and joy fill my heart and soul, my ripple becomes a wave of possibility in the ocean of life all around me.