Friday, August 29, 2008
We can all make a difference!
Sometime ago I challenged the claim as to whether one man could really make a difference. In that argument I stated that it would be impossible for a single man to make great changes, especially without the support of a large group. Every great historical figure who made change, did not do so on his or her own.
But now I want to talk about a slightly different angle. What I am saying is that we can all make a difference, but just not on such a large scale. The reason I say this is wherever you are, whatever you're doing no matter how insignificant you're having some kind of impact on your environment and those who are around you.
At they very least, you're disturbing the air and other particles around you. But beyond that the things you say to other people and the things you do do matter. You might not be able to move a mountain, but several small actions can add up to big changes.
There was an interesting idea I read once, I can't remember where exactly but it said that sometimes an organization might have an employee who isn't the most productive, but his or her impact plays a part with other employees. The example that they cited was that there might be an office clown who makes everybody laugh but does little work themselves. From a management perspective firing that employee makes the most sense, but once done, a much larger unforeseen negative effect may result as a whole.
This is really the same old idea that you can't see the impact of something until its suddenly no longer there anymore. In a similar manner we can never truly know what kind of impact we're making, if we weren't there the people around us may all be very different.
Since we know we make some kind of difference, shouldn't we then make an effort to leave as much positive impact behind us? It is my belief that we all influence each other to quite a large degree, and its quite frankly unavoidable. This is even evident in certain words being adopted amongst a group that may have originally originated from only one individual.
I spoke to someone once who was in a home of sorts for those with mental issues. This guy had overworked his brain with studying and had basically in a nutshell overdone it. The details of that are for another post, but this guy told me some of his theories, which were pretty interesting.
The one I'm going to mention is one regarding positive influences. He said that wherever we are, we should attempt to reduce negative externalities. The example he gave me was that if you're mother calls you and you're studying, you're response might be one of annoyance, because quite frankly you're in the middle of something. That negative energy will get transferred to your mother putting her in a bad mood, and then she might channel this negative energy elsewhere.
His solution, be mindful of your actions. A positive response there, would disperse positive energy in to another person which would hopefully pass onward. It's a simple cause and effect chain really.
So to wrap up... you might not be able to change the World on your own, but your smallest actions can have a sizable impact on your environment and those around you, especially in the long run. What you do... matters.