I don’t like national elections. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in and understand their importance. In fact, I think it’s great that every citizen gets a vote in choosing national leaders. The problem I have with national elections is that it over-inflates the importance of our national leaders. They trick us into putting our hopes and dreams into one candidate. The one candidate who has all the answers for the economy, military, society, etc. It’s easy to get caught up in this contest, even if you try not to.

It happened to me this year. I didn’t like either candidate. I felt neither one of them represented me, so I checked out. I voted, but did so almost begrudgingly.

I began to believe the lie that I had no influence in this world.

The truth is, every one of has influence. Influence works like a radio signal. It’s strongest when you’re right next to the tower, and the further away you get, the weaker the signal gets.

How to Save the World Part I: Spheres of Influence

I have the most influence on those closest to me: my family, my friends, my coworkers, my neighbors. I have the least influence on those I see or speak with rarely.

What am I doing with this influence?

When you believe the lie that you have no influence, you absolve yourself from any responsibility to this world and those around you. Once you accept the truth (that you have influence), you must also accept the responsibility.

I want to spend some more time unpacking this concept, but first I think we need to live with these questions:

  1. What is the scope of your influence?
  2. What should you do with it?
Ted C. Howard @ted