Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Impacting the Life of Another

A while back I looked into the Big Brother program. The program tries its best to assure potential Big Brothers that they can have a huge, positive impact on the lives of these kids by hanging out with them for a while. This concept is very appealing to me, because having an impact on another person's life is one of the most impressive things a person can do, in my opinion. Even though I don't think I can commit to such a program, it made me think about what it means to change someone's life.

We're all doing it constantly, of course. We can change the course of a person's day with something as simple as a smile, lifting some random passerby's spirits for the rest of the day (or, at least, for five seconds or so). Or maybe the smile creeps them out. Either way, it's an impact, albeit a small one.

The bigger the impact on a person the more like you are to be remembered. That's the big draw of Big Brother: the idea that your help with impact a person for the rest of their life. And when you impact someone that much, you can expect that impact to have an effect on everyone else that person meets. It's a powerful thing, and it's hard to wrap my mind around that level of influence sometimes.

Of course, if I'm going to impact someone's life I want to make certain it's a positive impact. Brightening a person's day, entertaining someone, and introducing them to good music, movies, or food is very satisfying. It's great to make to make someone feel special, or to know that something you've said has changed the way someone perceives something, hopefully for the better. The latter is a tough task, though.

Some people seem desperate to have a huge impact of people's lives, though, to the point where it doesn't matter if it's a good impact or a bad one. There are countless shooters, bombers, and terrorists who, desperate for attention, committed one atrocity or another. Some of them may have believed that they were having a positive impact somehow, but i believe some people were simply desperate to leave a mark on the world.

Celebrities are in a unique position to impact many people's lives. The outpouring of grief for the death of Robin Williams was proof of that, as someone who inspired countless comics and simply brightened the worlds of so many people as an actor and comedian. Musicians, too, can sometimes touch the lives of many people, helping them through tough spots or just generally bringing joy through music. And I'm sure there have been several Sportsball players that have inspired young kids to try hard and train to become rich, famous Sportsball players themselves.

I hope to someday have the opportunity to have some sort of profound, positive impact on the lives of many people I've never met. I'm not sure yet how I plan to do it, and it's likely I'll never actually do that at all.

Still, I think it's a worthy goal. The impact we have on the people around us and the waves that impact generates on the people they meet, the people those people meet, and so on is something that will continue to affect the world long after we're forgotten. With that in mind, try to make that impact a positive one.

1 comment:

  1. This was really inspiring! For what its worth, Charlie, I can confidently say my life's been enriched having met you and the rest of Fangamer. : )