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What’s Your Scope of Influence?

Have you ever daydreamed about being famous? I confess, I have. Though I have little experience with fame, let’s be honest–NONE–I wonder what it would be like to have 375K followers on Twitter and several million adoring reader-fans on my blog. This one, in fact. Thanks in advance to those actual 7 of you!!

I think it is easy in our present day life of super-knowledge, abundant choice and rapid travel to lull ourselves into a false hope in our own power. I can go to Belize in a day, but the scope of my true influence is limited to where the stride of my two feet can take me. I am, in fact limited by my own physical body. At 130-something lbs and 5 foot almost 6 inches, I can walk a 20 minute mile, and have a family of 8, counting sons-in-law. I run a home business and teach upwards of 50 students in any given week. That ‘s about it.

How many people do I really influence? Strictly speaking, all of them but in reality only a few will be markedly influenced by me. DO sheer numbers matter?

Include in this matrix time as well. None of us truly know what the ripples of our life will create as they expand after our death. That there will be ripples is the only guarantee.

I think that social media, ie, being able to communicate with a wide variety of people at a moment’s touch has given us the false impression that we are interacting fully. It’s pretty hard to beat a face-to-face. Though it does give a certain rush, tweeting or posting my views on a screen is no substitute for having a sit-down conversation with a real live human being.

This, undoubtedly, has contributed to the polarization (I’m sorry to add to the overuse of that word, as I am sick of hearing it) of the American public. I truth I VERY RARELY meet anyone that is rabidly hateful in my everyday life, yet to read the headlines, we are not sitting quietly in Starbucks not wreaking havoc, or driving civilly in our own lanes, or politely waiting in line at the post office. Reset: the news often publishes aberrant behavior because normal behavior is not news, it’s the norm. Civil society is in fact, alive and well in my every day life. I just have to LOOK FOR IT. That’s not to say I don’t have pushback from my family, or disagreements. I do. And what I do and say in those moments really matters. How much respect and honesty I give to the person directly in front of me is what makes the difference. In other words, paying attention to my REAL LIFE is what will make a difference.

Though it’s difficult, I can let go of the people I’ve only met ‘online’ and who really are only imaginary because I’ve never even shared space in a room with them, and focus on the people who have actually seen my size 9 1/2 feet and smelled my personal scent. Because that’s the girl that will give an account of herself at the last judgement, not the jazzed up profile image on my facebook. God knows everything I’ve ever said or thought or done.

That should give me pause.

My wish to be famous is in one part lofty, but on the flip-side it is for my own gratification, and perhaps is an attempt to escape the task in front of me. I can only take one step at a time, at most a mere meter in stride. As a matter of fact, so can you. Let’s walk together, shall we?


Artistic specialist, wonderer, idea maven, mom of four, and two more. Words and notes are my media of choice.

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