There is a fairly obvious truth to life, that I’ve known for a long time, and I bet all of you reading this has known for a long time, but it’s so obvious that it’s never seemed important to me until very recently.
Everyone can influence something.
It doesn’t matter who it is, or what it is, if it’s your family and friends, no matter how many people that might encompass, or even if that influence is simply your personal computer doing something that you’d like, your car navigating through workday traffic, or your hand putting a DVD in a home theatre system; even a homeless man stepping on a littered aluminum can is exerting influence.
The difference between the powerful and the weak is the amount of influence that a person can exert; therefore, influence is power.
This very basic principle is the reason why we have sayings like “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” and why so much effort is spent on networking, but although I don’t mean to belittle the idea of getting to know people that can potentially help you, getting to know people for its own sake is not very efficient, after all, people that know powerful people aren’t very powerful because the people that really have power will find them a nuissance. We typically call these people “name droppers”, and they aren’t really powerful at all.
By thinking in terms of influence alone, socially empirical (but deceptive) measurements like rank, title, and money, have little meaning. Wage workers give managers ideas, servants raise their masters’ children, and prisoners work with guards to spread and share information. They may not have the money, the prestige, or the freedom, but they most certainly have influence.
Exercised well, this influence can be recognized by, and spread to, other people, and suddenly, a slave doesn’t mind being a slave anymore, because the slave is more powerful and has less obligations than his master.
Influence is not transplanted like grass, or grown in a farm field, it is planted like a tree, and takes a very long time to grow. Poorly planted influence will be choked of water and sunlight and die tiny, or grow uncontrollably, blocking sunlight and tangling pipelines in its roots, destroying pavement, but plant your influence well, and it will be a gigantic monument that remains in place for a very long time, surviving much longer than you.
If you’re not convinced that influence is the most powerful thing a person has, think about these for a while:
Influence gets you out of terrible debt arrangements, or the ability to borrow in a less extortionate and more affordable way. (Read a greenback- money is nothing more than the transferrance of debt from one entity to another. Everybody owes somebody something.)
Influence gets you a better job.
Influence convinces polititians to do the right thing, and in turn, political influence can escalate to global effect.
But remember, influence takes a long time to grow.
Thanks for the comments.
ahyee: The phone broke. Oh, that was a joke, wasn’t it?
linuxaddict11111: Let’s start with the obvious… Bowie is one of those second or third degree artists- he influenced something that I like, but although I’m not gonna change the station if Space Oddity comes on, and I acknowledge that a lot of bands I like also like David Bowie, I haven’t bought any records or tried to listen to his things on purpose. Tehre’s a lot of obvious ‘good groups’ that get that I’m like that about.
The rest of the comments are responses to my comments to your blog, so to summarize, I do not believe in USA’s two-party government, and often think that the individuals that debate and make policy for these parties do not actually believe in the things they say and argue for and about, they simply do their jobs. I thank God for checks-and-balances, because without such, many conspiracy theories would very easily become fact.
Speaking of God, the next comment was about how religions are misinterpretted and reinterpretted to suit their believers.
I’m sure you know that religion is a very important part of human history. I have no problem with religions completely changing over time; in fact, it’s dangerous when religions are complacent as they soon become obsolete.
The problems I have with Western religion right now is
as you mentioned, too many people are willing to make words of which they do not understand
the origin (newtestamentgreekreadslikel33t) or the context in which they were created, but are all too willing to make them say anything they want. I’m not one to cause a person to completely disbelieve something when it’s not dangerous or horrendously incorrect, though.
I’m very tired of people that think the signs in Revelation of John are happening.
Like similar writings, most of the things described there can be attributed to things that already happened when the piece was written. Knowing that the world is as mortal as we are accomplishes nothing. This is regardless of how you think the world will end- trumpets blaring, guns blazing, sun scorching, whatever; the only lesson we gain from recognizing that Earth won’t always be here is that we should enjoy the life we have to the best of our ability in the first place.
Even the disturbing endings spoken of in politics and science are issues that may be solved in good time through careful exercise of influence, quite frankly, and this is the real issue, it can be documented somewhere in every generation in history since around 0 A.D., perhaps sooner, that there was some presumption that there is a very good chance that particular generation will be the last. I suppose it’s important to stress the urgency of some issues occasionally, but it’s time we find that sort of behaviour to be conceited.
I considered going into the political causes and effects of religion, but those are well documented elsewhere.
As for attending a Christian school, telling them you’re in a state of
doubt might be helpful… but I can’t promise it will work.
Organic_Gaming: I think the idea of moving a blog is a ‘your mileage may vary’ thing. I could write blogs that go with something like four or five accounts I have that could be on different subjects and all, but to be brutally honest, I’m sure you can tell I stretch to find content to put here sometimes, so having more blogs to write would not be healthy.
I certainly hope nobody minds.
Signs of the holiday appear at my work, day by day, and I have to admit, I’m very much looking forward to getting through to January.
Hope everyone is well.
See you next time.