Be The Drop, The Ripple, That Shifts The World

_I alone can't change the world. But I can cast a stone across the waters, to create many ripples._%

No one in the world was ever you before, with your particular gifts and abilities and possibilities.

  – Joseph Campbell

Each of us at conception is granted a “stone”, a sacred life purpose, that we are to “cast across the waters”.  That stone or purpose is to create many ripples.  Those ripples change us from the action of casting that stone, and those same ripples also impact many others.  We set out on the journey of discovering and living our life purpose.  

I have begun to think of life as a series of ripples, widening out from an original center.

  – Seamus Heaney

As we walk that path, it shifts and changes both us and the world in some way.  This is because each of us is impacted by everyone else, as each ripple touches and changes the other ripples.  For each stone that is cast or not casted, there is a change in the water.  It doesn’t matter if we are those who are hoarding their stones afraid to cast them, or we are those who grab the courage to risk casting their own “stone” or life purpose.  There is always an impact.

The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion.

  – Paulo Coelho

Most of us however, are also born with a reluctance to change.  We resist it.  We fear it.  We create stories around every impulse to create change in our lives.  We build walls, not to keep other people out, as much as to keep ourselves safe within.  As humans we also have this need to improve our lives.  We demonstrate this every January when we create New Years Resolutions around the changes we want to make in our lives.  Dreams we want to materialize.  Goals that we want to achieve.  We work hard to bring them into reality.  The funny thing is that most of us have these competing challenges going on.  We don’t want to change, yet we want those dreams to come into reality.  So most of the hard work in bringing the dream into reality, is that we are fighting ourselves internally around the changes we want to make.  We don’t know what is worse, that we try and fail, or we try and actually succeed.

If you believe in the doubts in your mind you won’t achieve the dreams in your heart. 

  – Marinela Reka

We are afraid that we will lose our soul along the journey of success.  We are also just as terrified that we will live our soul’s unique version of success.  We compare our journey with all of those that we know.  We compete, we judge.  We are full of the dark emotions such as anger, regret, worry, blame, guilt and fear.  We have people in our lives that threaten our peace of mind and our self worth.  Worst of all we have our own judgmental inner selves. 

We realize the importance of our voice when we are silenced.

 –   Malala Yousafazi

Some of us are given powerful life purposes, such as Mother Teresa and Malala.  Others have smaller visions and life purposes.  All of us come up against obstacles in fulfilling them. 

Life gives no one immunity against adversity, but life gives to everyone the power of positive thought which is sufficient to master all circumstances of adversity and convert them into beliefs.

  – Napoleon Hill

We will all make up stories about what happens to us in life.  They will either weaken or strengthen us, the choice is always within us.  We can blame our parents, our “ex”,  our employer, our best friend who provided the knife that stabbed us in the back.  That creates the victimhood that keeps us safely hoarding our “stone” and refusing to allow change to transform us into something powerful beyond measure.  To transform us into our divine purpose.

Just as one drop of water creates countless ripples, so does one gesture of kindness or love change countless lives.

  – Randi G Fine

Water is an ultimate teacher for us.  It changes shape to adapt to its situation.  Steam, fog, a cool refreshing liquid against our skin, a single snowflake, a sheet of ice or a mountain glacier, and a hot volcanic pool of water that would be death to enter.  Its waves kiss the shore along the ocean gently, and it pounds against the rocks wearing them down into small particles that get dragged deep onto the ocean floor.  It carves into the earth deep canyons, and flows down those same canyons as a beautiful waterfall.  It both gives and takes life.  It is neither good or evil, light or dark.  It reflects back to us how both action and inaction with our stone, still an impact is made on this earth.

In a different way today, we have what they are now terming “Raindrop” moments.  This is the disruption of a certain type of business, by new developments that take over in technology.  We think of things such as physical books in print, newspapers, music in CD/Albums, which have become electronic, changing the nature of both entertainment and business.  We can see the future disruptions in the movie and TV industries, changing from having human actors to artificial actors. We see businesses such as Taxi’s being impacted by new businesses such as Uber.  These are all the results of someone who cast their stone across the water and created a ripple that was felt around the world.  They made an impact.

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.

  – Anne Frank

Change happens whether we want it to or not.  What water has to teach us is the ability to adapt, to improvise, and to overcome.  It teaches to shift our shapes and transform.  We all have our “stone”, the divine purpose that we are here to achieve.  The method of doing so in within us, and the ability to change, shift our shape, to transform, is what brings us to success. We must each of us, be that change that we wish to see in the world.  If you think that world hunger is wrong, what are you doing to feed someone?  Whatever you have strong beliefs around, what are you individually doing to make that change in your own space in this world?

The essence of the independent mind lies not in what it thinks, but in how it thinks.

 –  Christopher Hitchens

Be like water and adapt, improvise, overcome, shift your shape (consciousness), transform.

At some point in our journey we come to a crossroads.  We have to pick a path (without any ability to know), which will or will not lead us to our destination.  We have to ask ourselves that unanswerable question, Do I go forwards, backwards, left, right, diagonal?  Steve Jobs asked this question to John Sculley when he was vice president at PepsiCo, before Apple was a household name.  “Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world?” 

People who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.

  – Apple Commercial

Do not allow anyone’s definition of who you are, including your own, to define who you are.  Like water, you can transform into what is needed to travel your own unique path in life.  The important thing is to stay curious, keep looking for open doors, keep asking unanswerable questions.  To quiet the mind, and to listen to the soul, which is the source of the unanswerable questions.  To go deep within, to visit and learn from the place our of real existence.  Promise yourself, to not permit fear of failure or greatness keep you frozen in place.

Believe in yourself and all that you are.  Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle.

 –  Christian D. Larson

That something is divine guidance, trust in it and don’t stop. 


Sheryl Silbaugh

I am married with 4 grown children who are all married and currently have 14 grandchildren and two great granddaughters. I work fulltime as a Director at Bank of America and I am the founder of, which is a website and Facebook page dedicated to personal transformation and growth. We all have life's lemons show up in our life, this website helps us to make them into lemonade.

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