A Project for Better Journalism chapter
News, Opinion

The Infinite Ripple

   As a student, one undoubtedly uses a pencil every day. A pencil is made of wood, graphite, metal, and rubber. Let’s keep it simple and think of only one of the pencil’s four components: wood.

   The wood came from a tree. That tree grew from the soil, and the soil formed through the decomposition of countless plants and animals. Those plants and animals also needed soil to exist, the cycles go on… The tree needed water. The water came from rain, which came from clouds, which came from evaporation of seas, rivers, and oceans. The tree grew from the seed of another tree, having ancestry back to the first generation of plants. Eventually that tree was processed by people. Each of those people was born, meaning their parents had to fall in love, and their grandparents had to fall in love, continuing on and on. We could follow the ever-entangled trail of this one wood pencil back to the beginning of time.

   It’s pretty mind blowing. It is absolutely overwhelming to think how much went into just the wood for a pencil; it’s tottering on the edge of a mental abyss. We didn’t even consider the graphite, metal, eraser, or other two billion pencils made annually.

   Ultimately, it took everything that has happened in our world to lead up to that one pencil. Every action, every thought, every decision has infinite intertwined reactions, infinitely affecting everything else. Anything that has ever transpired had to occur for an item or event to exist.

   This reality logically leads to two opposing mindsets. If everything has infinite affect, everything is either infinitely trivial or everything is infinitely imperative. I choose to believe the latter.

   I believe that everything holds infinite importance. Every decision I make, every action I take, every word I speak, will have infinite influence on everything to be. It’s pretty intimidating. How can I justify sitting on my couch watching Netflix? How can I ever live with myself if any mistake I make will have infinite consequences?

   My response to this thought is to establish a positive impact. If my impact is infinite, it needs to be positive. I do this by small actions: smile at strangers and say hi to teachers. That smile could make their day, generating a chain-reaction of smiles. Not only do I pursue small actions, knowing they will have infinite impact, but I also pursue bigger-picture undertakings. I have begun building my most significant positive impact: Revolin Sports.

   Revolin Sports LLC is a startup I am co-founding. Our mission is to create high-performance, sustainable sporting goods. My impact through Revolin is positive and ultimately immeasurable. We are one of the first to bring environmental concern to the sport industry. In turn, we inspire others to do the same. Competition for the consumer dollar will push sustainability to the forefront of product design. In addition, we make sports equipment, encouraging people to be outside, active, and social. As a founding member of Revolin, its well-intentioned impact is also my own. I’ve interacted with hundreds of people I otherwise never would have talked to, hopefully making a positive imprint on them as well. I’ve helped make people happier, businesses greener, and the world healthier.

   I realize that every decision I make will establish an everlasting ripple effect, and I try to live my life accordingly. I chose to embark on this crazy, difficult, unpredictable journey as an entrepreneur and explorer. As I strive to create an exponentially better world, I live my life with positive actions. I aspire to have my every exchange create a series of positive ripples, accumulating to an eventual tidal wave of beneficial impact. Something as uncomplicated as that little wood pencil has the power to infinitely alter the world; imagine what a person can do.

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