There are those who are visible world changers — presidents, top CEO’s, military presences, philanthropists, innovators, religious leaders — highly influential, possibly visioneers, societal engineers. Of course, with elections ahead, we are being made very aware of how influential many of the candidates can be.
There are the regular every day folks…the you’s, the me’s, the child in Russia, the grandmother in England, the teacher in Argentina, the parent in Mississippi, the church secretary in France, the janitor in the middle school, the vagrant under the bridge. And, then, of course, there are those who choose to ignore moral codes…burglars, murderers, rapists, vandals, embezzlers, cheaters, liars.
All of them have an impact on everyone else they encounter in their lives. The burglar certainly an influence on parents, siblings, spouse, children, neighbors, teachers, friends, enemies, victims, police (if they got caught), lawyers, judges, possibly jury, and on and on. Positive influence, negative influence…regardless, every contact they ever had with any person will have subtly or not so subtly changed the world we live in.
At 50 plus, so many of us feel a sense of hopelessness, particularly when faced with life challenges — being jobless at 50 plus, or single, or looking to combine households, or losing a home, caring for parents, becoming orphans. But how wonderful to take pause for a minute or two and think on the thousands upon thousands of positive human interactions we’ve have in our lives and know that something we might have said, or done, in passing or intentionally, in some small way changed someone else’s life or pathway. We are world changers. Collectively (as the Boomer generation) and individually.
I can’t help but think of one of my family’s relatives, who died at the young age of 54, a lovely, lovely man, mentally slow, but with the heart of a king. When he died, over 200 people came to pay their respects. Many of them had no cars, and little money. They walked, they bussed, they came. Because this man had touched each of them in a life-impacting way. A man with very little who gave a whole lot to many, many people in his all too short life. Our discussion reminded me of just how powerful we each can be in our own changing of the world.
So as I head into my new year, I’m going to make a concerted effort to pay it forward, do my little “acts of kindness” every day, and hope to help with positive change in the world. Join me.