mrs. neal's not-so-conventional MEDITATION [CLASS] for TEENS...

...the book and the recorded meditation


Ye are the light of the world.
A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but
on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

– Matthew 5:14-15


I ask students which of the following is correct:

a)   what you do is your business and it doesn’t matter to anyone
because you aren’t affecting anyone else, and
what you do doesn’t matter anyway,


b)   everything you do impacts someone else.

The good news is, most of them know that the correct answer is “b.”

The bad news is, they sometimes want to believe the correct answer is “a.”


Our lives are all connected.

Did you read that last chapter about role models?

It doesn’t matter who you are, the choices you make in your life will impact many lives around you — the decisions you make, the things you do or say, even what you wear.

And, you touch more lives than you may realize.

— ♦ —

The Ripple Effect of One Action...

Let’s think about an average day of an average student. She gets up in the morning, gets ready for school, eats breakfast, and heads out the door. She sees a family photo on the desk as she is leaving, and starts thinking about her grandfather and the birthday dinner her mom is going to make for him that evening.

On her way to school, she sees an old man who is having a hard time getting across the street. No one stops to help him, not even her.

When she gets to school, she still is thinking about that old man, and at lunch time, she tells her friends about him.

Now her friends are thinking about that old man, too.

They all get together after school, and make plans to stop by a local shelter on the weekend to see if they can volunteer to help there — secretly hoping they might run into that old man.

That weekend, four students show up at the shelter and volunteer their time. It becomes a regular thing for two of them, volunteering every other weekend.


How many lives do you think were impacted in this little story, and how did it all start? What was it that sparked the idea of volunteering to help at the shelter?

Was it perhaps the mother’s plan to make a birthday dinner for the grandfather that started this chain of events? Was it the family photo that the girl glanced at as she walked out the door? Or was it that the girl had been thinking of her grandfather when she noticed the old man crossing the street — would she have noticed the old man crossing the street had she not been thinking of her grandfather? Or, did the girl feel guilty about not helping the old man cross the street? Is that what affected her enough to tell her friends, and to get them to volunteer at the shelter with her?


Let’s take a look at what happened here: the grandfather, the mother, the daughter, the old man, and the friends at school all were impacting each other’s lives, not to mention the impact on the lives of the people at the shelter.

Even though the girls never ran into the old man, something started them on the path to having an impact on other peoples’ lives. Because one girl’s life was changed by watching an old man trying to get across a street, the lives of people at a shelter also were changed.

— ♦ —

The Butterfly Effect

In chaos theory, there is a phenomenon known as The Butterfly Effect; this relates to cause and effect — the origin of an outcome.

I love this very simplistic explanation: “a butterfly flapping its pretty little wings at the equator can start a breeze that will grow into a wind, and eventually will create a hurricane on the other side of the globe.”

In much the same way, our words, our actions, and our choices have an effect on everyone we encounter — and sometimes, it has a ripple effect.

We impact and change each other’s lives simply by being a part of each other’s lives.


As my mother once said to me, “Choose your words wisely. Be careful what you say, you don’t know how far your words will travel.”

Don’t you think the same applies to actions?

— ♦ —



How have your choices impacted the lives of those around you?




Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices  but honestly and courageously
uses his intelligence.

– Albert Einstein, physicist