The Ripple Effect

By Ben Wiebe

In his unreal, bestselling work of erudition How to be a Persistent Curmudgeon for Dummies, Pessi Kynikos relates the following: “Do not pay any attention to the children.” From the perspective of the book, such wisdom is indeed more precious than rubies.

If, on the other hand, you do NOT want to be bad tempered and surly, then I recommend that you do pay attention to children. In my experience, they are imaginative and delightfully humble, and sometimes when I am having a bad day, they turn it around completely.

It is so easy to forget the impact our actions have on others. As the Community Engagement Coordinator for The Mustard Seed I get to work with a lot of school groups and children, educating them on the issues of poverty and homelessness. One particular morning I remember opening my email to find a message from Linda Hut, a teacher at Belevedere Elementary School in Edmonton, who sent me a video featuring her Grade 6 students. I had previously spent time with them, facilitating a sandwich group and a tour. Now they had gone and done something amazing.

By God’s grace, I watched as their experience with me and my co-worker Jeremiah inspired them to design a series of calendars, with the intention of growing hope. The video was a CTV news story about the students planning to sell the calendars to raise funds for The Mustard Seed. In the video, they discuss their reasons for doing so and I was particularly moved. We don’t always get to see the ripple effects of our actions, but sometimes, if we’re lucky, we do.

The design of the calendars reminded me of The Mustard Seed’s vision: building community, growing hope and supporting change. Here is a link to the video: