Sunday, May 07, 2006


Our town had a tiny men's gym that was about to go under for lack of business. Not many people used it, many rural Southerners grew up "working out" with hand tools.

Last winter a group of teenage jocks thought about joining it. They wanted to build their muscles so they could do good at the state athletic competitions and attract scholarship money, and the little time they had in the high school gym wasn't cutting it. But working out in the private gym before supper would mean giving up their afternoon TV watching, and they weren't sure they wanted to make that sacrifice. What to do?

Some of the boys are in my husband's science class. One of them said, "Doc doesn't watch TV. If he can live without it, I can live without it." The other boys agreed. They all bought memberships and started going.

The extra memberships pulled the owner back from the verge of bankruptcy and enabled him to refurbish the building. Business is better than ever. The full story eventually made its way back to us.

Everything we do makes ripples. Sometimes those ripples end up in the most astonishing places.


Myrtle said...

I got the karmic short end of the ripple powers. Not only does nothing I do seem to make a difference, I could slug something with a hammer and it wouldn't budge.

The boys giving up tv for something more personally rewarding is heartening.

Lioness said...

You always makes a difference, but not always the difference you expect.

Unique said...

I love this story. I come back and read it about once a week.

I appreciate the reminder that just because we don't *see* a difference, doesn't mean we didn't make one.