The choices and actions I made yesterday have had a profound effect on the person I have become today. And who I am today will more than likely create a ripple effect for the person I will be tomorrow.
Every day we live our lives, we are quickly becoming part of history. And our history, along with others, can have a profound influence on our world around us. Many decisions made in our lifetime will touch the lives of many others. And many of those touched, we may never even be aware of.
It is not an overstatement to say that, the choices we make and the way we live our lives this very day, can impact the world in incalculable ways.
For example, if I chose to go out drinking and to drive under the influence. My choice could lead to an accident that could have a traumatic effect on many people. I could lose my license, my job, I could even be arrested. This would affect, not only me but the people in my life that would have to deal with the numerous results of my one decision.
Even worse, I could cause an accident that could injure or even kill one or more people. Each person, with their own set of connections. I could take a parent from their child, a child from their parent. I could rob people of livelihoods and inflict serious suffering. Each life changed by a decision I made. A moment in my history that could truly impact the lives of others. My today. Many tomorrows.
Imagine if I chose not to like another person. I treated another person poorly and with disrespect. I either bullied them to their face or behind their back. I chose to dislike a person because, either I thought they looked different than me or lived a life that I thought was unlike the way I lived mine.
I refused to get to know the person or learn anything about them. And I chose to only listen to other people that shared my dislike. Imagine if I let my dislike fester and grow. What if the dislike became more? What if it became an irrational fear? What if it became hatred? How would my action impact others? How would my choices impact our world?
One does not need to look far to see how choices like these can affect the world. Generations have been repressed, blocked, and forever harmed because of choices that were made in history. Choices made in our yesterdays. Choices made in our todays.
Will these be choices made in our tomorrow?
Each of us has a choice to make today, something that can lead to a better tomorrow.
Recently, I was watching a documentary of Martin Luther King Jr. marching through neighborhoods in Chicago. It was the late 1960’s and King was taking a stand against racism and the poor treatment of others. As King and others who supported this peaceful movement walked through neighborhoods, many people yelled words of hatred toward them. Some even through rocks and bricks directly at the people who were promoting nonviolence.
They were just walking through the neighborhood. They were peaceful. They were trying to bring attention and help people who were being oppressed.
And other people chose to fight them. Men, women, young and old. Parents with toddlers and young children, choosing to be on a different side. Choosing to make their today, a different side of history. Choosing to hate.
As I watched the people yelling at King and his supporters, I couldn’t help but think about the children. How did the choices and actions of people in that day, affect the children? How would this time in history affect their tomorrow? Would they choose to carry on this hatred?
Or did seeing the heroes from that day make an impact? Did images of the people marching peacefully and purposefully leave an influential impression in the hearts of some of the children, and perhaps even the adults, that day?
Can some of us look back and determine who was on the right side of history?
Can some of us look at this moment and determine whose actions, in this yesterday, have left a positive ripple effect that continues to flow even into our today?
Can some see the ripple that was made even further back in our world’s yesterdays?
Here’s a hint.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” -Matthew 5:9
What are we doing today that can give us all a better tomorrow?
What choices are we making? What ripple effects are we sending forward? What lives are we impacting?
Can we choose today to play a part in the right side of history?
Can we do everything we can to make today better than yesterday and make choices that make us all better people for tomorrow?
Can we join together to inspire instead of discourage?
Can we welcome instead of block out?
Can we celebrate instead of condemn?
May we all choose to love today. Love so much that we see through our differences. So much that we accept each other. Love so much that we create a movement of peace and respect for all people.
Can we make choices today that send positive ripple effects to others?
Can we choose today, to lovingly impact each and every one of our tomorrows?
Your reading of this is now your history.
What do you do now?