“It only takes one person. Why not you?” from For The Weekend…April 1, 2022

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Nasturtiums in the Garden

Nasturtiums in the Garden

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It only takes one person. Why not you?

As can clearly be seen from history and current events. it only takes one person to improve or totally screw up the world. It seems incredible to us that one person can have such an outsized effect on the world. Perhaps that is what leads to so many conspiracy theories around major events. We don’t want to believe that one person can cause all that damage and strife and yet it is clear from our experience that they truly can – for good and for ill.

While we may not feel as important as those who appear in the news daily, there is just as much a chance for us to change the world as anyone. Sure, we might not start a war, but we have a direct impact on those we personally touch every day. We affect our family, our children, our co-workers, our government representatives – everyone who hears our voice or reads our words. Have you ever thought about how important that is? Have you ever considered your impact on others and how you are changing the world action by action? If you are like me, probably not.

Ignoring our importance

As individuals, we often think we can’t have an impact on the lives are others. Who’s going to listen to me? Who’s going to ask my advice? I don’t know anything. The truth goes much deeper though. Every action you take can have a deep impact on others. Are you helping people to rise in their lives or pushing them down? Are you making the world better or worse? Are you acting ethically or taking advantage of everyone around you?

Far too many people don’t even think about their impact on others. They simply “do”, hour after hour, day after day. They litter the streets. They deface signs, buses, and other public infrastructure. The worst lie and steal and cheat their way through life and have a deep impact on everyone around them. While this is a deep issue of human nature that will probably never be solved, it is important to look at these deep issues as a way of illuminating the small issues we create every day for those close to us.

Are we just wandering through our days, doing whatever occurs to us, without any regard for friends and family? Are we treating ourselves poorly out of neglect? Have we disassociated from life and wandered through it as if in a fog? Perhaps. I am sure you have noticed people who do this. You can probably recognize times when you did it to yourself. Of course, recognizing the problem is the first step to solving it.

Change for the better

We drastically need a change. We need to see our importance in the world instead of ignoring it. Nearly everyone, short of the biggest narcissists, downplays their knowledge, their skills, and their abilities. We call it humility. Yet some take it to the level of debasement. We ignore and disclaim our individual talents whenever anyone praises us. We claim “luck”, not talent – succeeding by accident, not device. We do everything we can to NOT be the nail that stands up and then gets hammered down and, in doing that, we limit ourselves and our ability to do good in the world.

It only takes one person to start a war, but it also only takes one person to start peace. Imagine the impact you have on one person’s life. A welcoming smile. Cash for a job well done. Praise for those who deserve it and help for those who need it. Each minute of each day you can impart your best effects on those around you if you only take the time to recognize it – if you only paid attention to your actions instead of sleepwalking through your days.

Perhaps if we all did this on a regular basis we wouldn’t be dealing with those who use their power, persuasion, and manipulative powers for evil. Perhaps instead we could promote to power those who truly deserve it and have more interest in the world and not simply their own. Perhaps we could achieve our own rue, place in the world ourselves? Perhaps the good might be made to outweigh the evil?

A request

I ask you to think deeply about the effect that your words, habits, and actions have not only on you, but those close to you, those near you, and those you may never realize you affected. When I take the time to think about this, my effect on the world alternately heartens me and frightens me. We all have far more effect on the world than we realize and using that effect without conscious thought is a dangerous way to live, both for you and those around you. If you don’t notice it, you may never see the damage you cause or the joy you create. For me, to ignore both is a true crime against humanity.



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