Sometimes, when you least expect it, things change markedly. Sometimes, the change is driven by one person, a pebble on the scale. Suddenly, the whole balance tips. Around us, scales are in equipoise, inertia seems in charge, little ever changing. Until … the pebble.
For those given to doubt, quick with comebacks, sure that inertia – in physics and human relations – carries the day, my preemption, recommendation without hesitation: Think harder.
You are at a town meeting, school performance, sports event, or ballet, witness a courageous remark, poignant recital, solo instrument, great move – and you clap. Suddenly everyone claps. You were the pebble.
Less common, more difficult, you break further from the crowd. Seeing something spectacular –a great speech, well-acted play, moving concert, great shot, win hard fought, and you speak up, maybe stand up, give a standing clap. Suddenly there is an ovation. You were the pebble.
Simpler and less obvious, you may put hidden effort into something – a tug-o-war, stroke in an eight, hold the line, hit that high note, collect for a charity, write a letter. More heroically, you might apply extra effort to check on a friend, deliver food to the sick, notice a missing person, strain to see the unseen, find what is unfound, be uncommon, and run the thing to ground.
And what happens then? Your side tugs harder – and wins. The line is held – and momentum shifts. A modest performance – becomes memorable. The charity – surpasses its goal. That letter is read and alters another’s sense of value, reminding them they matter.
Or – when an afterthought became a thought, turns out that friend needed you, food was vital, a missing person gets discovered, the unseen is seen, the unfound is found, unlikely done – because of one. You were the pebble.
Cynics and grumblers have always existed and live among us. They comprise the crowd. They say percentages are small, chances unlikely, impact limited, effort disproportionate to outcome. They are wrong.
Most great and many good things start “against the odds,” a crowd persuaded that one man’s effort is inconsequential – until someone shows the effort, takes the step, challenges the odds – and dares to act from conviction.
Not so? So! The Founding Fathers were few, their convictions radical, empire arrayed against them, Bill of Rights treason, until their small voice grew into a chorus, chorus an army, army a nation, and that nation became us. They started an avalanche.
Same in other ways and places. Mahatma Gandhi – like Martin Luther King – was out of step, the notion that power resided in non-violent action considered absurd. They were mocked, the idea impractical. From Gandhi’s conviction came an Independent India; from King’s came focus, widening circles of equality, support for an idea, equal access to the American Dream.
In Communist Poland, Lech Walesa – and democracy activists like founding Solidarity member, Antoni Stavikowski – were dreamers, sure to bring the Soviet hammer down, their vision impossible, not in a thousand lifetimes. Only they did not believe that.
They persisted until their entire nation strained for the freedom envisioned, until their efforts caught fire – and the attention of three other visionaries, Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and Pope John Paul II.
Not only did the visionaries’ dream come true – Poland shedding Soviet communism – it inspired and dovetailed with dreams of all Soviet captives. Resolve of a very few grew – until death mattered less than realizing the dream, bringing the Soviet Union down. They were the pebble.
So, while percentages may be small, great outcomes are achievable – and get that way because a few ignore the odds,. As for impact and effort, whether the mission is personal or national, can there be a question?
All this comes back to that pebble, and the coming year. As 2023 takes wing, Americans face challenges at home, economic and political disharmony, plus worries abroad. The question is – have we the foresight and courage to stand, to circle back, to believe, and individually to lead?
Or will we blend into the crowd, be dissuaded by the pile of rocks at the other end, and dismiss both our power and the power of history? Perhaps 2023 will be the year it could be, should be – a year of positive change, an inflection point. The future is – as always – unknown, past an uneasy guide, but … anything is possible when, often by surprise, you realize – you can be the pebble.
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Another thing about pebbles; if you have one in your shoe it becomes VERY annoying. Thankfully there have been many “pebbles” in the socialist/democrats shoes that have stood up to the narratives and we are now starting to win. Also, it only takes ONE pebble to take down a giant! We will see that giant fall in our nation.
Thank you! You remind me of my dad’s writing. I am encouraged to be a pebble!
I look forward to Mr. Charles’ truly inspirational articles; always filled with Pearls of Wisdom. Thank you once again for your positive and uplifting words! What a wonderful way to begin the New Year!
Affirm/accept/receive/embrace/thank your ever-present God rather than pray/ask/implore
Use the words, faith/trust rather than hope/wish.
Good article! But then, RBC always delivers!
Howard, you made my year! Already! Thank you! Semper Optimus! ????????????
And thank you! In addition to your articles, I always enjoy your commentaries on Rebecca Weber’s show.
To Robert B. Charles , Much wisdom in your pebble article. Good reasoning. I do believe the article is a great pebble ! I reckon that anyone who lives by a code of conduct and has a sense of purpose in their life will understand that when confronted with something that seems insurmountable knows that doing nothing is not an option. Something must be done, even if it is something very small , pebble size , compared to the seemingly insurmountable thing being confronted. So, diligence comes to mind too , it kind of complements the inventiveness , the initiative of the pebble idea . May God bless and Guide all the good, right thinking people in the U.S.A. so that good ideas and right thoughts will represent what the country stands for.
Rob, thank you! We all have within things we never guessed we had… may they shine in2023! Thank you, my friebd!????????????
GOD IS IN CONTROL. We must bring him back into our lives and honor his name and instruction if we wish to continue this life. Satan has taken over our schools, politics and people who worship money and power. I pray GOD will take 2023 and turn it around
People also have to put some effort into changing things as well. That means doing more than just praying that God will set everything right and if He chooses not to, you just throw your hands up and give up. Freedom and rights are never handed to anyone. They are fought for and won by those that that stand up for themselves and then fight to maintain them as well. You can’t just be waiting for God to save the country, if the American people aren’t willing to do some positive actions necessary on their part as well.
My mom always told me, “God helps those who help themselves.” There are too many grasshoppers in this country right now, and not enough ants…
AMAN TO THAT
To PaulE. Agreed, God uses US to do His will. We have a responsibility to take the reigns and stop the evil. We can choose to sit on our hands or fight the fight.
Such a valid point! Jeff Childers, author of ‘Coffee&Coffee” Substack is most definitely a big pebble today in Country. He encourages the same as he shares valuable well written daily post. Being a lawyer, it is great to have the translation of some of these important controversial cases today.
Sometimes I think there are no pebbles left. I tried to warn my family what was about to happen to America, 3 years ago.
Well 3 years later we are there and still they will not accept what is going on. Why? The dems propaganda and brainwashing has been going on for years. The hatred that was and is being heaped on maga republicans and Trump the last 6 years has been so successful that it has been heaped on white Americans all in the name of equity.
No Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Ghandi can start a movement. They will be arrested never to be heard from again.
Pebbles? We need Boulders.
So when your family sees the results of what the Democrats have delivered in terms of a weaker economy, higher prices, less options on the store shelves, etc., etc., what do they chalk it all up to? Are they able to think for themselves or are they simply mindless idiots, who repeat whatever the MSM tells them each night on TV? Do they just blindly believe its all somehow Putin’s fault or that every country in South America just decided with no coordinated action to start sending millions of people north into the United States starting days after Biden was sworn in and he dismantled our immigration control system?
You can educate ignorant people by providing them with the necessary facts and information. Stupid people on the other hand are almost impossible to educate, because they lack the inherent ability to understand and comprehend the facts and information presented to them.
The family don’t see the changes. For they only watch MSM. Believe Jan 6.
They do not know about the WEF. They never have heard of Soros. They don’t know about the border. The propaganda press is doing a fantastic job. These are the woke people who are the sheep that follow Brandon blindly. And these are supposed to be educated people.
Usually, Robert Charles writes useful articles. This one was a little short of the mark. We pro-life conservatives invested time, and treasure in order to defeat Article 22 in Vermont. Yet, 77% of Vermonters voted to enshrine the right to butcher unborn babies in the womb up until the moment of birth. Sometimes the pebble is just a pebble and amounts to less than nothing.
In the case of states like Vermont, New York, New Jersey and other Democrat dominated states, the pond water has frozen over into a solid block of ice several inches thick. The result of decades of no real pushback to a series of ever more progressive policies until the conservative residents of the state amount to just a small minority of the total voter population.
Pebbles that would cause ripples in the pond 3, 4 or 5 decades ago, when it was not frozen, will now simply just pounce off the ice and lay on top of the racid, frozen ice today. In short, you need a lot of pebbles coming together in the form of a very large rock to strike the ice with enough force to penetrate the ice and cause that ripple. Meaning subtle action won’t work in places like Vermon, where the state has been a Democrat stronghold for decades. In those states, what is needed is a highly organzied and concerted effort to start chipping away slowly. Timing is everything, when you’re talking about promoting change. The longer people delay taking necessary action, the harder it will be to effect any sort of ripples.
Good response! Thanks, Paul.
Mario, point taken, but DO NOT GIVE UP! You know – and most in their untapped hearts know – you are are in the bright side of morality, history, and life. The Good Fight… has never been easy. Semper Optimus, and Fidelis!
Thanks! You always give me something hopeful to ponder!
Also beet powder saved my kidneys by removing uric acid.
Former kidney Dr kept upping blood pressure meds and accusing me of not taking my medication.
Turns out another looked over mri and saw a tumor on my adrenal.
That kidney Dr left in a hurry when my Dr pointed out her horrific flawed doctoring.
Trump is a pebble. Look how many people that he drew into Making America Great Again. Unfortunately, satan’s work is in the midst of all of us. The best thing about this is God is in charge and his will be done on earth as it is in heaven
Thank you for the very timely article! Our country needs a lot of Pebbles, God bless you
I get very discouraged when I watch the news and see so many examples of our nation in decline. How can this be happening? But now I’ve read your article and it gives me some faith. We all need to be the pebbles, and push for what is right. And remember, the bottom line, God is in charge. We must continue to have faith in Him and pray to Him. He can give us the strength to be the pebbles, to speak up when necessary, and to always push for what is right in our republic.
Lord Jesus, please help us to stand up for You in all we do!!! You are our only hope!!! Give us the strength and courage that only comes from You!!! And we give You, all the praise, glory and honor for Your grace and mercy in our time of need!!! Amen!!!
Interesting! . . . In some ways I’m like that pebble, not politically when it comes to Conservative ism but politically when it comes to today’s medical profession. I’ve personally been frustrated and angry over the treatments I’ve been offered or received. I prefer natural alternative solutions over chemical drugs and their dangerous side effects. I’ve personally healed more people from high uric acid resulting in painful gout attacks. And all naturally too! All by taking a 1000 MG daily capsule of tart cherry brand name S____r. I have never ever gotten a gout attack and now take 1 capsule every other day in support.
Now, because years ago I was diagnosed with an enlarged prostate by a doctor who told me that I could live with it and that he prescribed a daily medication to slow down the growth. But he NEVER warned me that eventually I should address the problem. Instead, I had kidney failure because the prostate got so large that it squeezed off my urinary flow and caused me kidney failure. My kidney specialist told me that I should have died and that he was surprised that I didn’t. I believe that the only reason that I didn’t was because at 75 years old I didn’t have ANY clogged arteries! And that’s because I bought an alternative medical device from Germany/Switzerland that is pulse electro magnetic field therapy which helps in having good circulation thus no clogged arteries. Now because of my kidney failure, I have to deal with a couple of unprofessional doctors who make me and every other of their senior patients wait up to 2-3 hours in their waiting rooms because they schedule all of us with the same appointment time. I guess it’s because as seniors we have more time to spend because most are retired though I STILL have to work because I live in the Progressively Liberal Heaven called California. . . . So Beware People, when dealing with today’s medical profession most of them see us only as $$$ signs!
Well, heres to your health in the coming year. I look forward to reading your emphatic posts for many years to come. Cheers!
Totally agree, most doctors create more problems then “cure” the disease.
The same is true with vets, I treat all my cats at home naturally, no more vets who don’t know what is going on and charge huge prices for nothing!!! I never gave into getting the “shot”, 30 + years ago I had to get a Tetanus vaccine and it triggered a lot of allergies in my system, no more.
In 2018 I had kidney stones and called the doctor on my insurance, I’m still waiting for a return call from his office!!! I ended up treating myself naturally!
Happy New Year everyone and stay safe and healthy!
They gave my brother a hard time in medical school because they said he was all about the money. This was because he was not the son of an affluent person! Our parents were not well off! The other doctors were in it for the money as much as he was. Turns out, he was the kind of doctor that did not cheat his patients or their families. He pointed out when other doctors were doing tests on dieing patients that did nothing that filled their pocketbooks. But that goes against the AMA!!! One is not allowed to criticize other doctors!
The mediacl profession has gone down drastically in the last few years. I have been seeing a new doctr for 3 years now. But I have only seen him once. All of the other times it is a nurse practitioner doing my exams and evaluating my blood tests. And the sad thing is, I am smart enough to evaluate the blood tests on my own! And they will not even let me see them, or even tell me what my cholesterol ratio is! They are control freaks too!