The Ripple Effect

By Dr. Mark Pitstick

The Bhagavad-Gita, a collection of Hindu wisdom teachings, says to do what you feel called to do and do it as well as you can, but don’t be attached to the fruits of your actions.

That’s very important and practical advice since we usually can’t, from a limited human perspective, fully gauge the results of our actions.  We take score too soon since we can’t see the big picture and, thus, judge outcomes prematurely.

A ripple effect emanates, far beyond what you can sense, from your thoughts, words and deeds.

So don’t get discouraged if you don’t seem to be making the impact you want. Do your very best and know that is enough.

A personal lesson about this occurred years ago when I gave my first holistic health seminar. The very reasonable admission fee went toward refurbishing our city’s historic Majestic Theater. We publicized the event by radio, TV, newspaper and flyers and hoped for a full house of 300 people.

The big day arrived, ominously, as the first warm sunny day of spring in Ohio. Not a good sign after a long cold and dreary winter. I figured maybe only 200 would attend because of the great weather. Show time approached and the crowd was very sparse, but I still hoped for a late rush to reach the 100 mark.

At ten minutes before show time, only a handful of people were there, but hope springs eternal. Maybe the crowd had encountered heavy traffic or trouble parking in our small town? Maybe escaped wild animals were keeping the crowd at bay?

At ten minutes past starting time, only 15 people were there and half of them were friends and family members.

I wanted to crawl away and never give seminars again.

I felt humiliated and very discouraged. But the show must go on. I somehow did my best and made it to the intermission.

In the backstage bathroom, I was still in shock about the turnout. What could be worse? Wrong question to ask, I quickly found out. As I urinated forcefully, I discovered—to my horror—that my wireless microphone was still on. But hope was still springing eternal . . . maybe the audience didn’t hear it. I peeked through the curtain and saw people rolling with laughter. They heard.

It seemed like one of the worst days in my life, a total failure.

Over time, I learned many lessons from that day—besides the obvious one about the microphone. We may not always reach the multitudes, but we each can follow our inner calling and do our best. If we reach only one other person, who knows how far reaching those positive repercussions might be.

Here’s an example.

One very special aftermath of my Majestic talk occurred with Ed, an audience member with terminal cancer. He became a patient after hearing my discussion of spiritual awareness and holistic health. His condition was too advanced to respond to holistic health measures, but we had several fine talks about documented survival of consciousness after death.

When Ed passed on, I visited the funeral home. He was beloved by many and the line of visitors was long. Ed’s wife, Jean, saw me and motioned for me to come up by the casket. It was the first time I had line cut at a funeral, but she insisted. She proudly introduced me to her family and shared the following experience that occurred just before Ed’s passing.

Ed had been in a coma for three days and was very near death when suddenly he became alert. He couldn’t talk but kept smiling and pointing out the window up to the sky. When Jean started to leave to get a drink of water, he hoarsely gasped: “Don’t leave me.” She reassured him that she would never leave. He smiled, pointed excitedly again toward the sky and said, “I love you,” closed his eyes and passed on.

Jean felt that our talks had decreased Ed’s fears, prepared him spiritually, and assisted his wonderful transition experience.

So was my Majestic talk a flop or a grand slam homerun? Remember, you can’t judge the ripple effect of your actions from a limited earthly perspective. Perform your heartfelt missions to the best of your ability and don’t waste time judging the outcome.

Mark Pitstick, MA, DC is an author, frequent media guest, chiropractic physician, clinical psychologist, radio show host, and workshop leader who helps you know and show your magnificence in body, mind, and spirit. Visit his website at for FREE radio shows, e-mail newsletters, articles, and special reports. To see his workshop schedule, visit: To schedule a Soul Proof Experience workshop in your area, contact him at or call 740-775-2189.


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