I was having a conversation with my boyfriend the other day that made me think about how much impact people have on our lives – and how different our lives might be if we had never met them. Sure, with some people, the change would be small – but even with a small change, how massive could the influence be in the end, how could it domino? And what about those people who have made such a huge impact on us – when you think about it, with many of them, it would have been a simple thing for us never to have met.
How many people do we meet at work? Well, what if you’d never seen that ad, never applied, never been interviewed, never decided to work there? And people we meet through other people or at social events – what if you just decided not to go? Think of any one person you interacted with this week, especially someone close to you: can you think of a situation where you never met? Or how that person could have left your life?
Especially when it comes to death. Death not only removes someone from our lives, it also has a massive psychological impact. What if someone who died, never did? What if that person was still here? How much different could a life turn out? Especially if that death had occurred during your childhood? How many lives, and to what degree, would be changed, and how would those changes in turn proliferate changes of their own?
It’s really quite remarkable, in my mind – some say that when everyone is special, no one is, but I think this very thought disproves that. People are incredibly powerful in their impact on the people around them. It doesn’t matter who you are – you have the ability to affect massive change on countless people in countless ways. And it’s humbling too, because you’d better use that incredible power for good.
Apologies for this meandering mess of philosophical thought, but this thinking occupied me for quite some time, and I find that it inspired a greater appreciation for the people in my life. And since I believe that gratitude is one of the most beautiful and powerful positive emotions that we are capable of, I thought I’d share and see if it inspired anyone else.