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Ripple Effect

How our small efforts can make all the difference.

© 2017 Donald Villamero.

Do you ever reflect or think about how you affect other people?

Every day we’re given the chance to change or break someone’s mood, to make someone feel better or worse than they’ve ever been, to talk about encouragement and self-worth or flat-out bitterness and pettiness.

I remember when I was in my first year living in Singapore, a close friend asked me to talk to her friend over the phone. She was thinking of ending her life. She couldn’t bare her problems anymore. I was 24 at that time, and there were a lot of life I haven’t experienced yet; I didn’t know what to tell her. The advice I gave her was this: “Ending your life will not solve your problems. Maybe it will for you, but what about your family in the Philippines? Don’t you think that’s a little selfish? Who will take care of them when you are gone? There are ways to solve your problems. It’s not worth ending your life over them.”

The day after that, I received a call from her friend, thanking me for the advice I gave her and for saving her life. I will never forget that moment.

The main reason I started “The Eternal Optimist” is because I want to have a positive impact on other people. And I encourage everyone reading to do the same.

There are so many negative contents in social media today. It is hard to look away from them. You see them on your Facebook timeline, in your friends’ posts, in the comment sections, in your Twitter and Instagram feed. And somehow, we assimilate the negativity one way or the other.

But the thing is, they can stop with us. We can make a difference on our own. With our best efforts, we can make our online world friendlier, better, greater.

Yesterday, one of my students in the modern jazz class I’m teaching told me how our talk on positivity last week and my blog helped her to give better advice to a friend. Her friend contacted her and asked her for advice about negativity and depression. My student told her about gratitude journaling — a morning routine I told her about to help me start my day with a grateful heart. Her friend said she’ll be doing it.

Again, a testament that I shouldn’t stop blogging or talking about positivity. It doesn’t matter if only three, two people, or just one person who will get to read my blog or listen to what I have to say. The opportunity to save someone who might be undergoing unimaginable amount of stress or someone thinking of ending their life, it’s more than I could ever ask in this lifetime.

So the call for action today is to keep on spreading positivity. To keep the faith and to keep fighting the good fight while being true to ourselves. We all have the responsibility to make our lives and the lives of the people around us better. And if somehow we are able to do just that, then we have found our purpose.

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