Last Thursday I asked my students in Philosophy – if you pick up a gun and shoot someone and kill that person, when does the bullet stop traveling?
One perceptive young man sadly said, “Never!”. And he was right. Such a small and destructive force destroys the life of that person, his children that shall never live as a result of his death, the grand children, the great-grand children and on and on and on. The sound of the gun reflects off vacant walls distant in empty memories that can never be. It travels through the lives of all those who loved and lost this person, the friends, family and many more never accounted for. This bullet penetrates the lives of so very many and it never truly hits the ground.
The losses we have suffered in so may wars and crimes and accidents are devastations that ripple through generations and are felt forever.
A favorite quote of mine is, “A man never stood so tall, as when he stooped to help a child”. True. But there is more to this than is quickly apparent. For the child once helped up, never stops rising.
These are all centriphical forces at work – once put into motion, they remain in motion. And the same effect is true for all the good things we do for others. These deeds are felt by countless others and ripple across time like waves across the water.
The Talmudic quotation, “Whoever saves one life saves the world entire“, reflects this simple but profound truth. But in a broader sense, an act of compassion, a kindness, a good deed, a humanitarian gesture, are all kept in a perpetual motion, ultimately creating a universal heart, whose beating is reflected in the pulsating laughter, the love and sounds of joy that echo across the borders that divide us and around this world we share.
The good we do doesn’t just live on after us. It is us. It is the centriphical and perpetual force of our lives. And this life force never stops traveling with the arrow of time. For your love is more than what you do. It is you. And it will always be.
Great truths are simple. And one of them is this – our love for one another never dies. Just as energy and matter cannot be destroyed, love is never lost, it is transformed. It becomes and travels forward and blossoms evermore into beautiful new worlds we become, but never fully comprehend.
The good we do is felt forever. And the goodness in your heart marches on and keeps marching, affecting those you shall never meet, in ways you shall never know. The beautiful sound of your loving heart will truly be heard forever. God hears the beat and it’s echos, on and on and on.