Elson Tong


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The ripple effect?

What is your opinion on the fact that one kind deed leads to another?
Is kindness an action, a word, what do you think think it is? How do you think the ripple effect will change the world? Personally I feel that the ripple effect exists, but the consequences of the kind acts anyone does has a high chance of being 'stagnant', and the effect would be lost. What are your views?

Thank you all very much for your replies. It is greatly appreciated. So, from what I understand, if a person is kind, heshe would affect everyone around their life. Because of the actions they would do, or the words they would say BECAUSE they are kind. True, these people may not have a huge impact on the world, but their actions make this world a better place, bit by bit. However, my other question is, what about the people who commit evil and take advantage of such kind people? Actually, this is the reason why I think 'kind' people do not actually dare to be kind, in the fear of being cheated. For example, in my country, there are con men, who claim they raise money for education for poor children, when in reality, they are stealing the money for themselves. This created a sense of wariness among people who wants to donate and do good, as they fear they would be wasting their money. How do we know our money will not be embezzled by such people, even in legitimate charity organizations? This is only one aspect of kindness, but I see it as one of the major problems. What are your opinions on this?

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    Jan 7 2014: Hi Elson,
    I wholeheartedly agree with the idea of the ripple effect....one deed leads to another, and in that way we can keep the ripple moving:>)

    You say...."Personally I feel that the ripple effect exists, but the consequences of the kind acts anyone does has a high chance of being 'stagnant', and the effect would be lost. What are your views?"

    In my perception, one who extends kindness, is getting as much good from the act as the one to whom the kindness is directed. Whether or not the intended recipient accepts the kindness is THEIR choice, and the act still creates an energy that is felt by at least the person who is giving.

    If we are attached to a particular outcome (expectation), the giver could be disappointed. If we give unconditionally, nothing is "stagnant", nor is anything "lost". Just because it is not accepted, does not mean the energy of the act is lost.....make any sense?

    Your other question....
    " what about the people who commit evil and take advantage of such kind people? Actually, this is the reason why I think 'kind' people do not actually dare to be kind, in the fear of being cheated."

    In the example you provide....con men stealing money for themselves under the guise of collecting for a good cause....
    I suggest doing some research on the organization BEFORE contributing money. Information is readily available for major charitable organizations.

    The ripple effect also happens with behaviors that are not so good, and we sometimes call this the "mob mentality".

    I think/feel the important thing is to "know thyself", choose what kind of a "ripple" we want to make, and be as informed as possible about organizations we are contributing to.
  • Jan 2 2014: "Kindness is the best Currency"- Keith W Henline
  • Jan 2 2014: Consciousness is a Collective thang.....by way of the Collective Unconscious.
    Waves are all grounded in the Ocean.
    It just seems separate.
    Do you ripple outward?
    Of Course you do.
    But, digging deeply enough, you will see you are not the wave alone.

    Don't take my word for it. Life teaches it fairly obviously for those who look.
    You have to look
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    Dec 31 2013: The biggest factor that creates real change in communities large and small is the amount of effort required to take part in that change. Even though many people have huge ideas that could hypothetically result in big changes, I've found that the little ones have an impact as well.

    Even seemingly shallow things, like Public Art projects have the potential to impact individuals in a little way. It changes their feelings and emotions for the moment, can enable them to take part in something they normally wouldn't, and take minimal effort. It's these little changes that can ripple and result in bigger individual changes precisely because they are little and everyone can take part in them.

    One of my favorite examples on public art can be found here: http://hubski.com/pub?id=57558

    This little change not only deterred the hateful and ugly graffiti, but brought people of all ages together to participate in something. Is this change going to have a huge impact on the entire world? No. But hopefully it affected the people in the community a little bit and resulted in a bit more positivity.
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    Jan 22 2014: I think it's tricky because the concept of kindness is based on values and will therefore be different from one person to the next, one group to the next. Some people think of kindness as unconditional love and acceptance, others think you need to be cruel to be kind (tough love)

    When one person's kindness is seen as evil to another person, the ripple effect is stilled (for the collective); however, the act of kindness still benefits the individual giving because they have a positive intention. This is one way to interpret the concept of karma - imagine that each kind thought or action that you have or do is sowing a seed of positivity in your mind.
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    Jan 17 2014: I have to say, i do agree with you. Acts of kindness, no matter how small or insignificant in a way, do impact others' lives, and may influence them to then be kind as well.

    Addressing your other question, "what about the people who commit evil and take advantage of such kind people?" as well as "How do we know our money will not be embezzled by such people, even in legitimate charity organizations? ", in my opinion, i think that ultimately, it all comes down to our "willingness" to be kind, or in other words, unconditional kindness.

    Using the case of the con men again, say our intention is not to JUST donate to them for the sake of donating, but to be KIND as a whole. Despite whatever happens to the money that we give them, we still realize that we have been kind. How would this benefit us then?

    We may think that it is our loss, but if we look at the bigger picture, maybe a child could have passed by and witness our act of kindness. Children learn much by observing those around them. In that sense, we may have instilled a 'kindness instinct' in our future generation. On that note, if we tell the children to be wary of these people, they may amplify that warning in their heads and develop a major sense of wariness against such people/organisations.

    Despite that, it still does not change the reality that there are con men out there that have no guilt whatsoever in taking advantage of others' kindness. Personally though, i think this does not mean that we should allow these people to take over our natural altruistic instinct; and as such, I believe we have to be selectively and unconditionally kind.
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    Jan 13 2014: On considering ripples, when they reach the boundaries of the pond they reflect back and cancel out the ripples following them. Their energy also dissipates as they meet resistance in the pond and the water eventually returns to calmness.

    It is definitely like that in the world, kindness often has backlashes and is met with resistance. Fortunately so does the converse, evil deeds are also met with opposition and resistance.

    In my view if one is going to be kind, do so despite opportunists and and con men. We need to be wise about the state of the world, be clever about how we give and be willing to let go of disappointments. There are laws in place for scam artists and cheats, but I found it is better to live with a pure heart.

    Be street wise with kindness, but also fearless. There are too many people who are debilitated with fears of lions roaring behind every bush. That is why there are movies made about people who break the mould to rise above the dreariness of life.
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    Jan 7 2014: Elson, There are many studies on this and surrounding subjects ... but for this ... do it yourself. Go to the best hotel in Singapore and stage experiments. It takes three. Two actors and one recorder. Open doors for your partner and have the recorder observe if this is followed by others ... Fall down see if anyone comes to your aide ... offer to carry a suitcase ... "find" your friends purse / billfold and return it among a crowd .. record reactions.

    Do this all again at a medium priced hotel ... again at a lessor priced hotel.

    How many said thank you ... how many expected it ... how many appreciated it .... crowd reaction

    Set this up with your teacher as a practicum ... coordinate as necessary.

    As to donations and con men ... As Colleen said it is your responsibility to "check out" before you give. In the USA many major foundations have been evaluated and found that most of the money goes to the CEO and operations (salaries) .. find out which ones .. that as little as 7 cents of the dollar went to where you wanted it to go.

    If it sounds to good to be true then it is most likely a bad bet. There is nothing absolute ... even in the best organizations there lurks a stinker.

    I give back in time and energy ... Read to someone who cannot ... share your time with someone who has no one ... do a project for someone who cannot do for themselves ... does that make me good .. no ... just someone who cares and shares ... people throw money at issues to ease their conscience ... I give time and effort to help others and after I feel great ... only the two of us know ... and that is enough.

    I wish you well. Have fun discovering your own answers and let us know. Bob.
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      Jan 8 2014: Thank you very much for your suggestion. I'll be sure to do that when I have the time.
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    R H

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    Jan 7 2014: I believe our actions give life to the results. In other words, when I do something, I perpetuate the consequences - or result of that action - whether good or bad. When we ignore those results, find them meaningless or disagreeable or value-less, we wittingly or unwittingly destroy them - again, whether good or bad. There is no 'judgement' in nature, there is only results of actions. And those actions that are deemed 'agreeable' and fortuitous are continued and evolve. Those that are 'grievous' and/or have little or no value, are lost in time. This is why I believe 'good' will triumph over 'evil'. Humanity will eventually find no value in anything other than 'goodness', and 'evil' will be relegated to obscurity.
  • Jan 4 2014: kind action is contagious,but never understand kindness as an action,a word only,true kindness should keep in your heart at first,if you can be kind to yourself,to your family,for your friends...then u learn to accept kindness compltely in your life,then you wouldn't just want to show your kindness in an action,a word,because kindness shining from your inside to outside.
  • Jan 3 2014: Kindness is the combination of positive emotions and feelings and actions.The word kind is just the name for the whole process from start of kindness to finish of kindness.It has both ripple effect as well as the viral effect.

    There is one story about 20 dollars , I don't exactly remember . It is believed that 20 dollars is still circulating in America.

    I hope someone who remembers or knows the story will share it.
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    Jan 2 2014: thank you Elson for raisin the point. It's actually a question to many of us. But is it the size or the quality, the depth, and the purity that matters most?! and by the way, who can judge the "size" of what we tend to consider small???? even in the physical world, there is the "Butterfly effect". Let's remember that life is NOT a linear-additive system but a complex one.
    What we might consider little, tiny, and negligible, sure leaves its traces on the sands of time. Besides, there are hundreds of real life experiences and true stories to prove that even those tiny acts have huge impacts in the course of time. and finally, again in physical terms, nothing will be lost; it's only a matter of changing faces and forms.
  • Jan 2 2014: Often,we think those little thoughtful acts that we do are somewhere futile and would be forgotten,unnoticed.But when we see positive reciprocation and sometimes people spreading joy by those very acts and further receiving gratitude back,we see how it isn't futile and how we create a virtual bank of kindness that we collectively create and withdraw and contribute to,as in when required.Only then can we withdraw when we contribute to it.
  • Jan 1 2014: I think being mindful of the ripple effect in every action you take is the most practical way to live a responsible life. There may not be a noticeable change in every person you interact with but I believe there is a change happening internally, at the very least. A change in that person and in yourself. The key for me is that there are no independent action, ideas, people or things. Interdependence is the true nature of all life on this planet. I see us as souls living in an interconnected web of experiences. I think our choices in what to say, think, and do are cumulative and will continue on through all time. The simple choice to be courteous, considerate, polite, and respectful with every person you meet will make a huge difference in your life. Something as simple as looking people in the eye when you speak to them, and truly listening to what they are trying to express when they talk to you can change the way you see the people around you. We cant help solve every problem out there in the world, not realistically even in our small social circles. There will always be strife and struggles for all of us in life but we have the power to choose whether the ripples we send out in this life act to drown others in pain and suffering or lift their heads above the water with love and respect. GREAT topic for discussion! Thanks for starting this conversation.
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    Gord G

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    Dec 31 2013: The pond of life is full of ripples...some good...some bad. When a person imagines the effect they cling to an expectation that may not be fulfilled.

    The act of kindness has merit regardless the outcome.
  • Jan 28 2014: I think that your question is about charity and whether we can trust charity organization if we want to help the poor. Actually, I think that it's better if the person would help the poor by himself or herself by collecting for example money during a year and give it to a poor family. and next year it would be for another family and soon. you'll be sure where your money goes and for whom as you do it yourself. but if you don't know any poor family or any poor person, here you would be obliged to give it to the charity organization.
    • Jan 28 2014: I think it's about individual actions that ripple and enrich those who need and appreciate the help creating a self-sustaining self-replicating self-propagating beneficial wave... that touches everyone and everything. Of course working and collaborating with others to help and be helped to reach a tipping point for the better...
  • Jan 27 2014: The Ripple effect .......https://www.facebook.com/pages/Think-Big/273567432135?ref=hl have a look great article for your info.Thanks be awesome.

  • Jan 27 2014: I just watched Eleanor Longden's story - She gave me a impetous - So I will affirm what you already know. That showing kindness, being kind, is massively & immediately rewarding - if you are awake.. In the blink of a questioning eye, the weight eases - only a nanosecond - allowing the Ripple to flow out towards the person who causes the most worries. giving a tiny glow to the one being kinded to. That buzz comes flying right back to you, It sticks around - &, if you have Time - it will lead you to the next opportunity. Words, gained by spending Time, unlocks many folks' distrust of giving money to thieving, philandering "Charitable" " Fronts". Being kind is a natural step in evolution - It is stored in our cellular make -up & is easy to feed.. Greed unfortunately propagates faster, & lives in our wallets.
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    Jan 27 2014: In reality you will be doing this for yourself and the effects you create will come back to you good or bad.

    View things as they are not as you would like them to be.

    Yup there are con men. Good manners and naivete are two different things. Some charities are very much treasonous others are solid. You can look them up on the internet. E.G. the Red cross should be audited and the results published where as the Salvation Army is solid
    • Jan 27 2014: Pat,

      How about:

      View things as they are, as one would like them to be, as they ought to be and do something to close the gaps between them all.

      In essence I think we agree... i just consider that we can do both things and a bit more... win-win-win kind of thing
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        Jan 27 2014: I have found that thinking does not work.
        • Jan 27 2014: sorry to hear about your particular experiences with thinking... I have found that thinking does work ... well at least when one does it the right way... in other words I have found that thinking does and does not work based on the way one thinks, what happens and certain particular correlations. Of course one also has to act in a certain way to make certain thinking work...
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        Jan 27 2014: There you go YMMV
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          Jan 28 2014: I am trying to understand this exchange but not succeeding. I looked up "YMMV," but I am still missing something.
        • Jan 28 2014: Fritzie,

          when I looked up YMMV," I found: your mileage may vary (used to say that people may experience a particular thing in different ways).

          p: View things as they are not as you would like them to be.
          e: consider that we can do both things and a bit more.
          p: I have found that thinking does not work.
          e: your particular experiences with thinking differs from my particular experiences with thinking..
          p: There you go YMMV
          e: thumbs up - in agreement - people may experience (a particular thing) in different ways
          f: trying to understand this exchange
          e: this response - hope it helps you and others to understand this exchange a bit better.

          I also hope pat will confirm this basically accurately sums this up... I think/believe/hold he will though only when he does will I have a clearer evidence of this fact - of course considering certain stuff...

          edited to add that I gave you a thumbs up to point you here
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        Jan 28 2014: "I have found that thinking does not work."

        A smart feller once said:

        'The beginning of wisdom is the definition of terms.'

        "That" in my statement could be defined as a conjunction introducing the phrase, thinking does not work.


        "That" in my statement could be defined as pronoun with the antecedent being Esteban's statement:

        View things as they are, as one would like them to be, as they ought to be and do something to close the gaps between them all.

        I would ask you to give the benefit of the doubt that I meant the later.

        But that did make me laugh to think I meant the prior. I really am proud that I can get around on my hind legs...

        Was that the source of the confusion Fritzie?

        Esteban did you think I meant the prior?

        My bad
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          Jan 28 2014: I understand now. Esteban interpreted you to deny the usefulness of thinking itself rather than of the line of reasoning he had presented and in response tried to defend to you the usefulness of thinking.

          Does "your mileage may vary" mean the same thing as "different strokes for different folks" or "to each his own?"
        • Jan 28 2014: pat,

          well let's say that reading your last post made me think and consider an interpretation which hadn't crossed my mind till you mentioned it... NOW I can perceive the prior and latter views. I originally only thought the meaning accordingly to what made you laugh.

          My statement corresponds to a visionary who Views things as they are ... as they would like them to be and then adds the other two notions, as they ought to be and doing something to close the gaps (implicitly meaning towards what ought to be because thats the only one that remains the same).

          OBTW that someone has fount it doesn't work hardly mean that happens to be the case for everyone... especially when somebody has found it does work when one does it the right way... as it ought to be done... as you sort of stated:
          The beginning of wisdom is View things as they are ... from there as how they ought to be... and doing what ought to be done...

          something curious to notice is that my statements happen to remain valid with one interpretation or the other...
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        Jan 28 2014: Fritzie

        Your mileage may very just means, that it will be more or less useful to you.


        It is not about workability.

        It is about, if you view things with unrealistic expectations you will likely be disappointed. If instead you view things as they are you will be happier.

        The smart feller was Socrates. Most problems with understanding a statement stem from an incorrect definition of terms. Which is what happened here.
        • Jan 28 2014: Pat,

          The ripple effect from our conversation may expose many a subtlety to consider in conversations and the stories we choose to enliven.

          In a way 'problems' stem from someone defining 'it' as such :-). we could tango over the incorrect and correct definition of terms and what really happened here just as we could choose some other alternative course of action.

          I realized and considered 'the alternate' meaning - the one you originally intended rather than the one I originally perceived while maintaining the storyline that one is actually better. You probably have noticed that I tend to put forth an alternative to the statements put forth, often with a bit of a twist. (You know twisting the twisted just so that it becomes straightened out). A while back I had a bit of a bend over with what be right-wrong (absolute-relative) and the notions of meanings... presently I sort of have a pet peeve over 'negatives' memes being used when 'positive' ones could be employed, heck 'even neutral memes' may be preferable in certain cases.

          if I view things with unrealistic expectations i will likely be astounded and ecstatic that things actually worked out as expected. I see that to be happier from viewing things as they are involves the things being well as they are and for the moment I view that certain things ought to change. In a way I consider the story being promoted (or at least the one I perceive being promoted) by the statements and then choose to put forth a better story.

          It be an unrealistic expectation for me to consider one can view things as they are, best one can do is view them as one thinks they are while seeking to ensure correspondence between what one thinks to be and what happens to be (tweaking what one thinks to be till it corresponds to what happens to be OR improving what happens to be according to what one things OR a bit of both).

          BTW the absolute meaning of a word is set once and for all when used... note it is used by author and rereader.
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        Jan 28 2014: Esteban

        I changed my mind go with the prior.
        • Jan 28 2014: and how does that involve a change? seems to me you just maintained what you originally had...
  • Jan 27 2014: Elson Tong

    Consider that there are those who seek good and work to cultivate it while there are those who seek other things. One way the other ways manages to accomplish their ways involves infiltrating and corrupting the practices done by the opposition or taking advantage of those ways.

    The thing is does one act good because:
    1- one chooses it
    2- one seeks the results
    3- one does what others do
    4- one wants to set an example for others to follow
    5- so many additional possibilities

    Being kind can and does have a huge impact on the world... the thing is that mostly it goes under-noticed and under-reported . I think 'kind' people ought dare to be kind, in ways that ensure their contributions make a difference do the most good. For example, rather than giving to some con-men who will steal the money for themselves ensure it be applied appropriately. Sometimes what the bad-ones are after is to disrupt the kindness working together. They want to created a sense of wariness among people who wants to donate and do good, that induces them into paralyzing fear rather than actively figuring ways to help each other. How do we know our money will be employed in a legitimate charity ... well by ensuring it and only give to legitimate charities that we trust will do as they claim... Of course some can be generous knowing that some will take the money and will have to eventually return it infinite fold ... those who steal will lose it all and those who give will get it all ...
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    Jan 11 2014: I agree with you that how we behave towards others has an affect. Every interaction with another person changes their and your own life in some way. Then this has a ripple affect which changes the world in however small a degree. We are all part of the world.
  • Jan 8 2014: Think you are talking about the pay it forward movement.
  • Jan 7 2014: Virtue is intensely personal, thus, it only spreads through the collection of personal choices and is usually averse to publicity, making it even more work to keep ging. Evil is extremely public. All that is needed is for people to permit it, and it trumpets is claimed "benefits" to the world.
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    Jan 7 2014: Your example with the con men is also an example of the "ripple effect" of corruption. It spreads in society like a fungus.
  • Dec 31 2013: what is a ripple but a change of consciousness. For some it is a seed on stone for others a seed on fertile soil, effects occur when man has positioned his consciousness beside his will. The question then becomes, what fuels or feeds the will with lasting empowerment and not fleeting moments.
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    Dec 31 2013: What do you mean by "the consequences of the kind acts anyone does has a high chance of being stagnant?" Do you mean some ripple into a chain of kind acts and others not?
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      Jan 4 2014: Yes that is what I mean