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The Ripple Effect

Once upon a time, a man walking forlornly down a beach stumbled across an ancient lamp. His foot accidentally kicked the lamp, and out sprung a mighty genie!

"You have freed me!" the genie bellowed. "For that, I shall grant you one wish."

The man gazed wistfully out at the sea for a moment, and then said, "I wish for my life to be special, important, and meaningful."

The genie gave the man an inscrutable look, folded his arms, and blinked. There was a sudden bang and a puff of smoke. "Your wish is granted!" the genie declared.

After a moment, the man felt his body, shook his head, and looked at the genie in confusion. "I don't feel any different!" he protested.

The genie then gave the man a sad smile. "Of course not," he whispered. And then he disappeared.

I saw this story as a comic recently. I wish I could take credit for it's brilliant simplicity. Thanks to whoever it was that created it - wish I had noted the name.

We often feel we're accomplishing nothing. Don't believe it! I just received a DM from a fellow LinkedInnie (is that a good term?) that included the following quote (truncated for brevity and anonymity):

"You should receive an email with a link to a kindle copy of my first novel... I've followed you for a while

on LinkedIn... You were one of the examples which encouraged me to start submitting to publishers."

This writer had done short stories for a while, but only as a hobby. He began submitting full books only a few years ago - and now has signed his third book deal - and he's attributing part of his motivation to my example!

I don't know what I've done that he found so encouraging. I'm certainly not one of those "you can do it!" cheerleader folks. If anything, I tend to to note, and ponder, the difficulties we writers struggle with, and I rarely have a simple solution to offer. Hardly the world's greatest motivator, I know.

But a person I know only slightly saw something I did, took heart from it, and make a huge step forward in his personal and professional life. (AND he sent me just the loveliest message to tell me, too!)

You may think it'll sink without a ripple, but don't kid yourself. You never know how your stone will skip across the sea.


Yonah Klein is the author of numerous published comics, children's books, short stories, audio productions, and the novel Power Plays. His second novel, based on the wildly successful serial Face2Face, is due out shortly.

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