The Ripple Effect: Everything Is Interconnected

May 06, 2015

By: Anna Agoncillo and Michael Cahapay |

Image Credits: Khairul Nizam via Flickr
Everything is interconnected. Every little thing you do can influence someone else's life.  As cliché as this may sound, these statements speak volumes of circumstantial truth.

Picture a person throwing a piece of stone into the river full of small fishes. He will then see a splash creating circles rippling out from the point where the stone hit the water. This thrown stone (although it might be small in nature), might have significant effects such as scaring the nearby school of fish or hitting another rock along the way.

Much like what you envisioned, life is comparable to an expanding ripple across the water. Ripple Effect, in Psychology and Sociology, can be observed by how people affect situations that may not be directly related to the initial interaction (Long, 2001). Our observable actions influence not only our lives but also that of the others whether we are aware of it or not.

For instance:

In 2002, Sigal Barsade showed that the group with contagious positive emotions experienced improved cooperation, increased perceived task performance, and reduced conflict. The influence of the shared emotions affected both the individual's attitudes and the group's processes.

Isn't it remarkable to know that a simple change in emotion can change the group dynamics and performance outcome? Truly, it need not to have a huge boulder to create a ripple effect, even a single twig can do the trick. Knowing how your personal actions and choices affect others, here are some of the simple and no-cost steps you shall take…


Take the time to carefully notice yourself and your surroundings. Encourage others to see their worth by sincerely complimenting them.


Showcase your lovely smile. It can uplift others. Who knows? It may be the only bright sight that a person wandering along the way has ever seen for the day.


Simple acts of kindness such as offering your friend a ride home can make them feel better. On a greater scale, unwavering support can help a failing individual to stand up and fix his life once more.


Spread love even to those whom you dislike. It is easier said than done but do your best. It may be the most enduring act of selflessness that could melt a stony heart of despair and misery.


Gratitude increases happiness within you and beyond you. It is one of the sweetest words a parent can hear from his or her beloved child.

Be brave enough to take the first step because we are each other's role models. How we act at a certain moment influences the behavior of other people present, especially those who look to us actively for knowledge (i.e., children or students). Start making more positive choices in your life to watch the ripple effect of undeniably good things.

Read more in Michael’s article called the "Ripple Effect"

Read the previous posts: 5 Steps To Achieve Anything You've Envisioned, 5 Profound Lessons I Got From Teaching Young Minds

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