How I Ruined the World

Article by Mike Bullock out of the Denver Post


I got to feeling unimportant and it made me mad. I said something nasty to someone, and I didn’t care.

That person became angry at the nasty thing I said, and she drove her car recklessly on her way home.

She upset six motorists in the process, and they became angry at drivers in general. They vented their anger in various ways and snubbed 50 family members, friends, and strangers.

Those 50 people were saddened, and they failed to bring happiness to 500 people whom they otherwise would have cheered.

Those 500 were thereby less effective in their lives, and 100,000 opportunities for good deeds were lost.

A hundred thousand fewer good deeds in the community resulted in 1,000 more crimes being committed and led to more police.

That alarmed many people, who armed themselves to resist growth of a police state, and scores of legislators responded by passing laws limiting individual freedoms.

Peopled revolted, and violent revolution swept the land.

Other nations responded nervously by enlarging their armies and mobilizing forces.

The world’s most dangerous tyrant saw opportunity in the international tension and unleashed a nuclear attack on the world’s great cities.

Angry nations responded with nuclear arsenals.


I should have kept my mouth shut.

Better yet. I should have been nice to someone that would have been reflected in a chain of good deeds, culminating in a miraculous benefit to the living.

As a pebble tossed into a pond makes ripples affecting the whole, so do our actions have their unpredictable effect upon all mankind.

The groundwork for human disasters and miracles alike is laid by countless instances of bad or good deeds.

Onto the balance of fate are heaped two opposing measures: on one side greed, fear, dishonesty, hatred and their kind countered on the opposing end by kindness, charity, hope, love, faith, and joy.

Sometimes the balance is tipped by overpowering evil; sometimes good is the victor.

As with the straw that broke the camel’s back, we must be vigilant to keep our deeds from adding to the burden of humanity.

No act is inconsequential; no person insignificant.