Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Ripple Effect

I have this picture (below) on my desk at work and it sums up something that a commenter on my blog said this week. He said 'I can't change the whole world by myself, but I can affect the world surrounding me and that starts a ripple effect'.

It says 'It is the effort of many that creates ripples that can move mountains.'

I wish I had the ability to move mountains on my own (as I'm sure many of us do) Alas I was standing behind the door when they were giving out super powers. It's true though that we can all do our bit and start the ripple effect of change.

I read about a very brave woman today in the Adelaide Sunday Mail who was indecently assaulted on a train during peak hour and not one person came to her assistance. The perpetrator then moved on to do the same thing to a younger woman on the same train and everybody continued to turn a blind eye.

NOT ONE PERSON ATTEMPTED TO HELP. Shame on the men travelling home on this train who refused to intervene; imagine if this was your daughter or wife? It was this strong woman who stood up and told this man to back off and leave the frightened young woman alone.

He got abusive and confrontational with her but when she stood her ground and stared him down, he backed off. She was smart enough to ring a friend to ensure she had someone to meet her at the end of her train ride. This to ensure her safety when she exited at her stop because this man was still on the train, but had moved to another carriage. The article is here if you want to read it.

I wanted to cheer in the streets for this woman who was strong enough to protect another younger, more vulnerable woman who nobody else would help, who was experiencing what she had also just experienced. This is just one person standing up and hopefully creating a ripple effect, so that people do feel they can help another. How anyone can stand by and not assist another person in this situation is beyond me(even if it is as simple as calling police or train security and not getting personally involved)

Lousie pointed out this week "I think there is a collective learned helplessness at play that immobilizes our ability to intervene". I understand this as well because we also hear of bad things happening to people who get involved in situations that have nothing to do with them. Alerting someone to the problem and not personally getting involved is still better than turning away and pretending nothing is happening.

I would hope that someone would come to my rescue in this situation, because I know I would have to do something. While I believe our own safety must be considered first and foremost, doing nothing is unacceptable. If people won't try to change their own world or their own responses than we are all just floating along with the tide and not trying to make the world a better one.

I'm all for creating ripples to move mountains and at least having some small impact on the circumstances in my little part of the world. Yeah Kate Kyriacou, you rock girl and I applaud your actions. Double yeah that they eventually arrested this twit and got him off the streets.

Cheers, Fi


  1. bravo to the brave ripple makers.

  2. that is so beautiful...thanks for following...I am following sure to stop by and join my hop..

  3. I tweeted the story and put it on my facebook page -- you are so right. We must create ripples that counteract the discordant, disempowering ripples of abuse.

    Well said Fi!

  4. sounds like something i would say...

    apathy is a problem, and fear is a normal response. two things we have to go beyond to effectively act in such situations. not everyone is hero material. i think i might have pulled the emergency breaks to get the police involved in this matter.
    sad story...


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