Ripple Stories

Every now and then change comes in like a tidal wave. Most often, however, it happens so slowly and incrementally that you hardly notice until one day, you look back and recognize the miles that have been traversed. It can be important every now and then to stop for a moment and celebrate the little things in order to keep up the energy for the long run.  

A few months ago, Edger introduced the idea of the “ripple” effect to Docudharma. As we all know and see every day, it has now been incorporated into the current banner.

I thought it might be interesting to talk a bit about those small changes that make up the ripple effect as it is being manifest in the hearts and minds of those of us here at Docudharma and spread out there into the world.

If you take a moment to think about it, what has changed in you or in how you live your life as a result of blogging here at DD or elsewhere that might have gone unnoticed if you didn’t take a minute to reflect? Some of those changes might be big enough that they spring to mind right away. Others are more subtle. And some might still be looking like internal changes that haven’t quite found a direct manifestation out there in the world. Others might have had a direct impact on how you live your life and the choices you make.

I’d be happy to share a couple of mine and then would love to hear from you in the comments.  

One of the most obvious ripple effects for me comes from finding the movie made by Annie Leonard titled The Story of Stuff when Nezua posted it at The Unapologetic Mexican.

For years I’ve been saving dimes, nickels, and pennies to rehab a very little old house I bought back in the early 90’s. I’m done now with all the major work and had been planning on buying some new bedroom furniture to replace the hand-me-downs from the 70’s I currently use. Once I saw this movie, I started asking myself why I need new bedroom furniture. So, as a result of watching that video, I decided that I can live a while longer with what I have.

But the story doesn’t end there. Since the video had such a big impact on me, I decided to write an essay about it here titled One Flight Down. As a result of reading that essay and watching the video with her kids, KrisC told me that she bought copies of it and gave them to her kid’s school. So Annie Leonard goes from Nezua to NL to KrisC to school kids. That’s some pretty fun ripples!!!

Other ripples have been much more subtle for me. I suppose our discussions about race back in November probably had the most profound impact on me. Its hard to identify the exact changes in me as a result, but I know that I was challenged to both defend beliefs I held about the subject and change others. While I still have miles to go on the topic, I also know that just a few more of my biases were shed as a result of that conversation.

For those of you who might have missed that profound episode of Docudharma history, I can’t really provide a link because the essays were flying a mile a minute. But I tried to bring together a few of the comments that I thought were most profound here.

So there are just a couple of mine. What are your ripple stories? I’d love to hear.


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  1. to sing along with while you tell your stories.

    (h/t to Edger on this one too)

  2. /snark

    • RiaD on April 29, 2008 at 11:19 pm

    docudharma feels like the local coffeehouse (or cheers!) to me now….

    pfiore had praised some comment i made in orange, encouraged me to turn it into an essay (imagine that!) soon thereafter she invited me over here.

    everyone here was just so great….i felt (at last!) able to state my true opinion without holding back….

    soon i felt confident enough to dig out my old story, do a bit of reworking and post it here….& no one laughed!

    self confidence allowed me to praise others writings…. hopefully that has helped another with their confidence….  

    and write essays that i never dreamed i could share…. hopefully helping another to Not hit rock bottom before seeing the path out…

    and the ripples expand…

    • Alma on April 30, 2008 at 3:42 am

    has brought me back to a lot of stuff I hadn’t thought about in a while. Memories of losing loved ones, and the good memories of those loved ones. Its reminded me that there are other issues besides the war and impeachment that we still need to be dealing with.  And as Ria said, confidence.  People here aren’t going to belittle you if you misspell something, or if a phrase isn’t written well.  If they don’t understand what you post, they will ask before jumping down your throat.  Disagreement can be had without loss of respect.

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