Jul 16, 2015

A Splash of Kindness

by John Starley Allen

"The things we do—even the little things we do, things as little as this pebble—create ripples kind of like the ones you see right now. Consequences, I suppose, is the grown-up word for it."

Discover how the little things you do make a big difference.

Filled with inspiring true stories of positive change, this uplifting book shows how small acts of goodness have a ripple effect and eventually change the world.

One morning, your grandfather finds you at the pigpen and beckons you to follow him.

"Where are we going?" you ask.

"Oh, there's just a little something I want to show you."

You walk past the chickens and the sheep. You pass some Angus cows in the pasture. In the far southwest corner of your grandfather's farm there is a pond, part of which is in the shade of an immense oak tree. The pond is smooth and offers a perfect reflection of the sky and the tree's sprawling limbs.

Standing at the edge of the water, your grandfather picks up a small pebble and tosses it into the center of the pond. There is a plop immediately followed by a soft splash.  Then the center of the pond, no longer smooth, becomes a series of ever-widening ripples. The reflected oak branches look as if they are being tousled by a playful wind.

"See those ripples? How far do you think they'll go out?" asks Grandpa.

"I don't know."

"Well, watch."

The ripples continue to expand. You look down just a little beyond your feet at the undulating, crystal-clear water. The ripples, lapping the pond's shore, end only when there is no more water.

Your grandpa looks at you studying the ripples--the ever-expanding concentric circles--and asks, "You reckon if the pond were bigger, the ripples would keep on going?"

You answer yes.

Grandpa throws in a couple more pebbles, and you watch the mesmerizing ripples. Then he gets that look in his eye--the look you've seen before--the look that says he's about to say something important and he's trying to find the right words. Finally he says, "You know, the things we do, even the little things we do--things as little as this pebble...," he raises his hand, showing the small stone held between his thumb and forefinger--"well, these things we do create ripples kind of like the ones you see right now. Consequences, I suppose, is the grown-up word for it."

He lets the pebble fly. It lands directly in the center of the pond.

You look at each other. There is nothing more for him to explain. And the look in your eyes tells him that you understand.

About the Author
John Starley Allen is the author of the holiday classic, “Christmas Gifts, Christmas Voices.” Besides writing inspirational books and stories, he is also a gold record award-winning songwriter. He has performed his music at Nashville’s iconic Bluebird Café and the Country Music Hall of Fame. He has lived in Sweden, Nashville, and Moab, Utah. He currently resides in Holladay, Utah. He and his wife, JoAnn, are the parents of four beautiful daughters.

What people are saying

"Some of the stories are long and others are short. Sometimes the effect is huge and sometimes it's small, but it's always important." --Melanie

"A wonderful set of stories that will cause you to examine the ripples you have caused." --Richard M. Siddoway, New York Times bestselling author of "The Christmas Wish" and "The Cottage Park Puzzle"

"It's reassuring to be reminded of how simple expressions of character can influence lives for generations." --Caralyn and Mark Buehner, New York Times bestselling creators of "Fanny's Dream" and the Snowmen series


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