Lines and patterns. We see them everywhere but sometimes aren’t conscious of them. Only if we stop to not just see, not just notice, but actually perceive are we aware of the lines and patterns that surround us.
And as happens so often, those lines and patterns tend to intersect and overlap. This week’s photo challenge on Word Press is “from lines to patterns.” Several shots I’ve photographed came immediately to my mind; others showed themselves to be more subtle yet the basic premise was there to discover.
As happens so often, this photo challenge reminds me of life. A person may just live his life, minding his own business, and not consider the impact – positive or negative – he has on other folks’ lives. “It’s my life,” he may shout. “I’ll do what I want!” Maybe he adheres to the lyrics of the old song, “I did it my way” or the old saying, “My way or the highway.”
That self-centered approach completely ignores the truth. We all live our lives in our own lines and patterns but our lines cross over others’ lines. Our patterns overlap with our fellow humankind. It’s true that no man is an island.
Each decision we make doesn’t just impact our own lives. Instead, we touch and influence those around us and even beyond. What we do and say flows out in swells and waves until it reaches someone else…which in turn affects another…and another… That’s why it’s called the ripple effect.
So the questions we have to ask ourselves are these: How do my lines and patterns affect those around me? Have I considered the impact I’m making not just for today but for the future? Does my mode of operation affect others in a positive or negative fashion? And when we make decisions, we must consider the effect they will have because you will reap what you sow.
A young but very wise person once told me that your life may be forced onto a new path, but no one can take away your legacy and the lives you’ve impacted. Those things won’t be erased in eternity.
And those are the matters that really matter.
“The actions you take today not only impact you; they influence generations. Every matter matters for eternity.” ~ Dillon Burroughs in Hunger No More: A 1-Year Devotional Journey Through the Psalms