The Domino Effect   

I wrote this back in January 2014.  I hope you don’t mind. I just couldn’t come up with a new post this week.  I hope I will be forgiven . . .

I want to say something profound and memorable.  I wanted my first full post of 2014 to be something people spoke about to each other for days and weeks.  And then I realized I had it all wrong.  It’s not about the words I use.  It’s not about how I feel about what I write.  It’s about reaching out from the isolation of my home to the world. We are not alone.  We never have been.

I’m a big believer in the importance of chance.  You meet a stranger on the street and you smile in an abstract, bored sort of way.  The person you smile at doesn’t realize you are bored and his spirits are lifted just a tiny bit and when he gets home to his wife, he’s kinder.  His wife spends a little longer getting dressed that night because she’s starting to believe she’s beautiful because her husband was kind.  She speaks gently to her child that night and he goes to sleep feeling loved.  The next day he goes to school and does exceptionally well on a test because he feels good about himself.  His teacher is thrilled that her problem student has done well and she feels better about herself thinking she’s the reason.  She goes home that night . . . All of this happened because one woman smiled at a stranger.  It’s a domino effect.

We live on this little blue world made of dirt and water and people.  There are a lot of us.  There are wars and hunger, violence and apathy.  Every day we deal with our own perceived inadequacies, our own diseases.  But there’s one thing we must never forget: somewhere, someone is in much worse shape than we are.  Somewhere, someone is watching their life blood seep through a gaping wound, alone and frightened.  Somewhere, someone is watching as a loved one slowly succumbs to a painful and deadly disease.  A woman is raped and beaten, killed.  A man is shot dead by a stranger for his empty wallet.  A woman feels the hands of a lover on her throat tightening. Children are shot by children, men and women are tortured, planes crash, people are dying of hunger, disease and greed.

You have a choice.  I have a choice.  We can give in, be victims and wallow in our own self-pity.  Or we can take what quality of life we have, embrace it, relish it, enhance it if we can, and live.  Reach out to the stranger next to you and smile.  We are all in this together


38 thoughts on “The Domino Effect   

  1. Sorryless


    This is an absolutely brilliant piece of writing on humankind, Pam. As the kids would say, I am shook! In a very positive and inspired way, like that simple smile on a street corner.

    Thank you.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Murphy's Law

    What a powerful insight into human nature. Beautifully written Pam. This post was significant in 2014 and is profoundly significant now. Don’t apologize for the re-run. It’s the perfect post for these unsettling times we’re all living through.
    🐾Ginger 🐾

    Liked by 4 people

  3. John Hric

    Good choice. And good choice. Except for that picture of the geese. Now I have an eye worm of one goose falling over and tipping over the entire flock. Then again if we can’t laugh we skipped an important part of the instruction manual…

    Liked by 3 people

  4. laura bruno lilly

    Excellent insights!
    I remember vividly the time after I had a skin thing taken off my face and had a hurtful looking blotch while healing. I was in my thirties. I was embarrassed to go out in public, but had to of course because life goes on…
    One time, instead of the casual look-then-hastily-avert-their-eyes a man looked me square in the eye, held the door open for me as I entered the store and smiled widely…then we both went on our way.
    A minor malady, true. But the encounter because of it, a major uplift.
    That made my day, my whole week.
    Take care

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Melanie B Cee

    That’s really beautiful! I’m so glad you shared it (again). Recently I re-watched a movie entitled “Stuck”. Now I’ve found no less than THREE in the search, ranging from soft porn (you don’t want to know, even though that one was only 14 minutes long 😮 ❓ ), a romance of some sort and the one I liked – six strangers get stuck on the subway and have a long time to get to know each other. It’s got singing in it (really good singers too). It shows how diverse people (there’s a Hispanic man, an older white woman, an Asian girl, a white kid who is in his early 20s (?), a black woman and a black man. You get to watch as they interact and how that domino ripple effect works…both for good things and for bad things. We’re all connected. Thank you so much Pam for reminding me of it. I’ve been feeling disconnected a lot lately.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Share Your World – 6-22-2020 | sparksfromacombustiblemind

  7. Pingback: Share Your World 6/22/20 – Paperkutzs

  8. Pingback: Share Your World – – ❀ Welcome To LSS Attitude of Gratitude❀

  9. rangewriter

    We need more of this. We need it when we are young, when we are teens, when we are new parents, and when we are seniors looking back and wondering what the heck went wrong. Thanks for sharing a second time around.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: Share Your World…22/06/2020 – Lolsys Library

  11. joylennick

    This is such a lovely post. Thank you! After all, what does a smile cost? A gentle stretching of the mouth muscles, but it means so much more. And as you so aptly put it, the domino effect can be tremendous. Like most writers, I study people a lot, and don’t think some realize just what vacant, miserable messages they give out in repose. No-one wants to see grinning hyenas everywhere and we all have bundles of woe to carry from time to time,but to be aware and to spread a few smiles is such a joy. A miserable waitress or shop assistant (and I have been both!) can spoil anyone’s day…Cheers! x

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Léa

    Pam, there is nothing to apologize for. Sometimes we might miss something and some posts bear reading again, and again…

    “Be not inhospitable to strangers, lest they be angels in disguise.” – William Butler Yeats

    Liked by 1 person


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.