Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Cause and Effect

One of the principles of Buddhism is to be mindful of your actions, for everything has a cause and effect and sometimes it can manifest itself in unexpected ways.

Today at work when I was headed out for lunch, I mentioned to the receptionist that it was free cone day at Ben & Jerry's. When I got back from lunch, I again ran into the receptionist and now she was outside on her lunch break going for a walk. She asked me if I had gone to the ice cream shop and if it really was free cone day. I replied it was. About a half-hour later, an email message from the director of human resources was sent to all the employees (about 200 people) telling them it was free cone day at Ben & Jerry's. It turns out the receptionist had sent a message to her boss (the director of HR) to let her know about the free ice cream, and this in turn led the director of HR to send the message on to all the employees. So, my casual mentioning of the free ice cream to the receptionist ended up being relayed to about 200 other people in just an hour later. Too bad I didn't have something a bit more important to say that could have been relayed to 200 people. But, it is a good illustration of how you should be mindful of what you say and do, as you never know what the ripple effect might be.