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Ripple Effect

A 10-year-old boy in Ecuador decided to go for a morning bike ride. A short video shows little Anthony Hernandez walking his small, rusted red bike out to the street, staying safe by keeping the bike close to the curb. His shaggy little black and white dog, Gudi, walks next to him. Anthony picks up his pup and puts him on the handlebars of his bike. Then Anthony reaches for a face mask and gently fits it over his dog’s mouth, checking that the straps are tucked behind Gudi’s shaggy ears. Once his pup’s face mask is on tight, Anthony pulls out another mask and puts it on himself. He checks Gudi’s mask one more time to make sure it is secure. Then Anthony and Gudi set off on their bike ride. 

With this simple gesture – a little boy caring for his dog – a stone of kindness is cast across the water. It causes a ripple. 

The man who happened to film the video gives a joyful laugh as he watches Anthony and his dog ride down the street. Although you can’t see his face, you know the man is smiling. 

The ripple continues. Across the world, I watch this video and I smile, too. So do hundreds of thousands of others who see Anthony’s small kindness and smile. 

There is a far-reaching ripple effect from simple acts of kindness.

Author: Alyssa Forcehimes, PhD

An expert in behavior change, substance use disorders and empathic communication, Dr. Alyssa Forcehimes serves as President of The Change Companies® and Train for Change Inc.® She lives in Arizona with her husband and two daughters.