Do you make a difference in the world? Does anyone care about what you do? Are some people more important than others? We all ask ourselves these questions from time to time. Some people wonder about them more than others.
You do make a difference. You are important. Who you are and what you do does matter. You may have wondered what’s the purpose of life. Or perhaps you contemplated the nature of the big picture.
There are many more questions than answers. But we don’t need all of the answers to lead meaningful lives. Everything you do and each person you impact has a ripple effect, just like a stone thrown into a pond.
Every occupation helps people and fills some need. If it didn’t, the job wouldn’t exist. Although there may be a wide range of compensation, lower pay doesn’t mean a job is less important. All people are equal, regardless of what they do to earn a living. What can make a person special is how they treat others.
A special person treats others with concern, care, and consideration. A special person’s economic status, education, intelligence, or occupation is irrelevant. If you want to make a difference in the world you can do so one person at a time. By having a positive influence on just one person’s life, you will have made a significant difference in this world.
The seemingly simple act of saying hello and smiling at a stranger will brighten the day of at least two people; the person who smiled and the one they smiled at. When you help improve someone else’s day, who knows how many other people they will have a positive impact on as a result. It’s like a good will chain letter that keeps multiplying.
You have three spheres of influence: immediate, direct, and extended. In your immediate sphere are all those people who know you and with whom you have repeated contact. These include family, friends, acquaintances, and coworkers.
Many of the people in your immediate sphere depend on and rely on you more than you or they realize. Although people do not show their gratitude to you as often as they should, your presence is nonetheless important to them.
Your direct sphere of influence includes all the people you have personal contact with. Contact involves any kind of interpersonal communication including in person, over the phone, mail, email, or visual. You can have direct contact with a person once, and then never cross paths again.
You have personal contact with people everywhere you go. You talk to many people over the phone or via mail/email that you will never meet in person. You have visual contact with people in other vehicles when you are driving.
When you are polite and caring, it makes a difference to others. How do you feel when you are treated this way? It affects you as the receiver the same way it impacts others when you are the transmitter.
Your extended sphere of influence includes those that are affected by the people you have had direct contact with. One good deed will have a ripple effect that extends farther than you can ever imagine.
So don’t underestimate the difference you make in the world. It is far greater than you realize. If someone voices appreciation for what you have done, ask them to repay you by showing the same consideration for someone else.
You do make a difference, one person at a time.
Bryan Golden is the author of “Dare to Live Without Limits.” Opinions expressed are those of the author. Contact him at Bryan@columnist.com or visit www.DareToLiveWithoutLimits.com.