The Ripple Effect

I’m a strong believer that one small act can change the world! If you’ve been following me you’ve probably heard me saying, “one person can make a difference. It’s like throwing a pebble in a pond. You throw a pebble in a bond and the ripples that come from that expand long and wide.”

Here’s how it works; you never know what someone is going through. When you do one kind act for someone like providing exceptional customer service, giving someone words of encouragement, or using your gifts/skills to help someone, you could literally be saving their life. The special thing about majority of these acts of kindness is that they don’t cost money in comparison to the impact, the time spent is well worth it. The person on the receiving end may even pay it forward and do the same for someone else thus moving the ripple further along.

In showing how impactful the “ripple effect” can be, this story is about the doctor who completed my surgery, after my injury, and saved my life. Earlier this week I was invited to attend an event where my doctor, Thomas Scalea physician in chief at Shock Trauma, was the keynote speaker. While listening to his speech on how, Shock Trauma has a 96% survival rate, 25% of them victims of a shooting and majority of them from Baltimore City. While he rattled off more statistics about the impact Shock Trauma has had on 1000s of lives in Baltimore City alone, I couldn’t help but wonder if he truly understands how many people he’s touched that weren’t his patients. Does he really understand the ripple effect he’s had?

Back in 2004, at the age of 16, I was carted into Dr. Scalea’s surgery room facing death. Almost 15 years later, the result of his work is still having an impact on the lives of people in Maryland. In saving my life, God used him to provide me with a second chance and an opportunity to support others. As a result, I’ve found my purpose in life which is to help others by using my story and life experiences. It has also allowed pay it forward and start Safe Alternative Foundation for Education and open the SAFE Center.

The significance of SAFE and the SAFE Center is that it’s located less than 1.5 miles from Shock Trauma, in a community where a lot of their patients come from. However, through the SAFE Center, I’m able to use my second chance to help change the trajectory of our students lives. My team and I do this by providing opportunities that will help them combat and overcome the odds stacked against them such as the prison pipeline, lack of resources, opportunities, and exposure, as well as the gun violence that’s plagued Baltimore City. Having our students participate in other avenues of life provides access to alternative options to what is typically available and glorified in our community.

Seeing Dr. Scalea again after many years was a full circle moment for me. The impact of saving and changing my life has furthered Dr. Scalea’s ripple by allowing me to impact and change the lives of Baltimore City youth.  I’ve had opportunities to help people in ways I couldn’t imagine. So much so that I’m currently as a semi-finalist for the “Baltimore Hometown Hero” award. To learn more about this award and to vote for me visit Baltimore Homecoming Hero.

Lesson of the blog:

It may cost you little to nothing to do a kind act for someone, but the impact of that act can be invaluable to them. If you’re a recipient of a kind act pay it forward. “A simple act of caring creates an endless ripple” and this is how we can change the world!