Magic of ripples forms positive currents

Visiting German student takes a song home from Canada, says columnist Rita Corbett.

It wasn’t even planned.  Might have even been illegal!  But it happened, just the same.  It started when a young man from Germany came to Canada for a visit.

He was a friend-of-a-friend who had asked if he could accompany my husband to his orthodontic practice as he hoped to study dentistry.

Of course that was fine! We had a great time making him welcome in Canada and including him everywhere as part of our family.

He didn’t cost us much other than a little time and food, but the ‘connect’ we had was genuinely enjoyable.

During the visit he fell particularly in love with a simple song, Ancient Words, and we sang it over and over again.  While traveling north to the dental office, he heard the song dozens of times over from a CD in my husband’s truck. It was definitely a case of “die or enjoy!”  Anyone need a ride north?

But the story doesn’t end there. Before our new friend left Canada to return home, Gabi Weiand kindly translated the lyrics for Ancient Words, by Michael W. Smith, into German, and our visitor boarded the plane with the illegal sheet music and the translation in his brief case.

Back in Germany, Gunter shared the song with his musical mother, Heidi, who directs a competition-level choir.

Ancient Words was performed at the next exhibition.

The other choir directors loved it, and asked for copies. The inspiring song has now been sung, hummed and whistled in all sorts of venues all over Germany, and it is still traveling.

Ripples. Yes, appropriate contact was made to reimburse Michael W. Smith for his work.

But beyond that issue, ripples don’t cost much. A willingness to help. An openness to sharing. A few minutes here and there. An extra plate at the table. A search for common ground. A desire to listen for possibilities.

Simple acts, whether kind or thoughtless, can change lives, change dreams, and change the future.

In water, ripples disappear pretty quickly. But when they are created among people, the effects can last forever.

Sometimes ripples are missing — there simply aren’t any.

I recall once waterskiing on a lake so still it was impossible to tell where the water was.  My ski quickly slid sideways across the glassy surface, and then so did I. I needed a few ripples — just a few bumps to give.

We all make ripples — with rocks, feathers, words, frowns, or gracious acts of kindness. Perhaps if my little ripples combine with yours, a swell of good things can happen. Together, those ripples can build into waves and form a strong current of positives.

Gunter is coming to visit again soon; it’s almost time to pick another song.  But first I have some really insignificant things to do … little things – things that can create ripples.

Rita Corbett is a columnist for the Weekend Advisor.


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