TED Conversations

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

Influence one person at a time!

I've heard the words "we can change everything" many times on TED.
And I do believe that it's true!
But a lot of people don't have the energy, possibility or means to "change everything" and therefore get discouraged and instead do much less then they are capable of.
Something that everyone can do however is to try to influence people in a good way, strangers, friends or family... Have you told your mother, father or friends about TED and what it means to you?

My idea is this: try to influence people, at least one at a time (when you have the possibility) to do and think better, don't be afraid!

Edit: Is this a good idea? Some feedback and personal stories would be nice to hear.

0
Share:
progress indicator
  • Apr 3 2011: This question brings to mind what I consider quite a profound cartoon by Charles Schulz in which (I think) Linus announces his love for humanity, and is challenged by (I think) Lucy, who having performed a particularly unlovable act cries out 'Hah, so where's your love for humanity now?' To which Linus calmly responds words to the effect that his love for humanity is profound and all embracing; he loves humanity as a grand notion; when it comes to loving on personal specific, one to one basis; well then, that's another matter. The cartoon said it much more succinctly and humorously than me. But I think the cartoon has a wisdom that extends to all grand notions, particularly the idea of changing the world. Somehow, as a general rule, I put much more faith in people who seem compelled to change/help humanity for the better one person at a time. Not to say there are not people out there with visionary ideas and talents and the capacity to do great good for many, many people. Just that, for me, it starts with the small and personal. I tend to suspect that the grandest of visions for a better world, if they have any substance, are born of one person seeking to help another. In answer to your question; try to influence people, at least one at a time (when you have the possibility) to do and think better, don't be afraid! Is this a good idea?
    To my way of thinking, yes it's a very good idea, possibly the best you can have. The real challenge is to clarify what it is you feel you have to offer others by way of a worthy influence and how to do so most effectively. My own feelings on the latter are that example and actions are preferable to lecturing or preaching; You don't tell someone how to lead a good life, you just try to lead what you consider to be a 'good life' yourself, and have faith in humanity to recognise and be responsive to acts of integrity (Not losing sight of the fact that ideals are not something you embody, so much as continually strive to embody) .
  • Comment deleted

    • thumb
      Apr 3 2011: Thanks Wongmo, I appreciate you:>)
      I often think of the wonderful image you've provided, of people as one drop of water flowing into the waterfall:>) I love what you say about living by example, treat everyone as precious, value everyone's opinion, be true to yourself with good intentions, and do not try to force our ideas onto others. I am amazed at how much we can change the world around us simply by "being" all that we can be in each and every moment.
  • Apr 11 2011: I've actually become a ted addict due to my boss :P we now have an ongoing thing where I try to find a video he hasn't seen and I'm happy to say the other day I did :)
  • thumb
    Apr 3 2011: I've also found that doing this face-to-face is a supreme way of influencing one person.
  • Apr 3 2011: I love the idea! I constantly send talks to friends and family. Influence as many as you can! If that's just one person, great. If it's a thousand, even better.
  • thumb
    Apr 3 2011: Yes that's a good idea really. I mean setting mini goal (as you said "influencing one person at a time"), achieving that , getting enerzied with achievement and then move to next mini goal.
    Most of the time high expectation (high is a relative term though) is seen by many people too high to achieve , so don't have the motivation or drive to achieve that which they actually can achieve but instead they give up. Breaking down high expectations in to many mini goals makes it simple to people to achieve.
    • thumb
      Apr 3 2011: being fully present to each person..each moment is not exactly a mini-goal..it's the whole enchilada..if we can do that nothing else is impossible
      • thumb
        Apr 6 2011: Agree being fully present is not small thing , but to influence one person you may not need to be fully present with individual person. When target is bigger population to influence than individual is a mini goal from that perspective of bigger whole.
  • thumb
    Apr 2 2011: When you see or hear something valuable you can hit the Twitter or Facebook icon and share it with the social networks and multiply its effect. If it's VERY good, it might go viral and bounce around the world.
    • thumb
      Apr 3 2011: Yes Clay, I've just started using it and it is great!
      Also I like to post the link to TED once a week!
  • thumb
    Apr 2 2011: yes!!! yes!!! Yes!! we must always witness for truth, for social and economic justice..we don;t have to be preachey about it or overbearing..the content of our blogs and Facebook pages can do that..what we say in every moment does that..how we live our lives does that...the power of one is infinite
  • Apr 2 2011: This was my pitch behind a Compassion service I gave at my UU church. Basically live by example and hopefully it will go viral and change the world, one person at a time, from the bottom up. Or as someone once said, "Be the change you want to see in the world."
  • Apr 2 2011: I had an idea a few weeks ago, & told a few close friends about it. It has since grown into a formed committee that will soon join the ranks of a non-profit org. to help folks learn to be part of a "Barter System" & help their neighbors at the same time. NO ONE puts up any money, just skills & talents. Several businesses in area have joined in to the core group & offering their own insights. The premise is: We are ALL equal & need to understand that we can live through a hard economic time if we just lend a hand instead of a hand out. Folks outside of core group are approaching every day to sign up & be a valid part of this project. The group has no name yet-still working on charter information but already other cities near us want to know how they can form their own groups. It's encouraging to say the least. And all without a penny being spent just good old fashion elbow grease.
    • thumb
      Apr 2 2011: That sounds great!
      Please do share a link to the website, I'd like to check it out!
      or if there isn't any, ask for help here on TED!
    • thumb
      Apr 2 2011: here on my island there is no barter system..when someone is in need we are all there..we stay there as long as we are needed..no one keeps tallies..there is no quid pro quo..we all turn up wherever we are needed and we stay as long as we are needed ..no one keeps track ..we are accountable to each other..no one goes to chemo therapy alone..no one dies alone..no one faces the unimaginable roller coaster of a an advanced cancer diagnosis alone..no one works through the suicide of a loved on alone..we show up..we are just there..we stay until we are needed no more.
      • thumb
        Apr 2 2011: What island is that, I'd really like to move there some day!
        • thumb
          Apr 3 2011: do that for any other person..where you are..turn up, be there and stay there and you will be here.and you will be influencing others,,chnaging others by your choice to turn up, be there, stay there
        • thumb
          Apr 3 2011: YES Lindsay..."be there":>)'
          Your comment reminds me of:
          RULES FOR LIFE
          BY ANGELES ARRIEN
          (Basque shaman)
          1. Show up
          2. Pay attention
          3. Tell the truth without blame or judgment
          4. Be open, not attached to the outcome
      • thumb
        Apr 3 2011: I guessed that you weren't talking about a physical place, I understand what you mean!
    • thumb
      Apr 2 2011: Yeah, gale, if you have guys have a site, I'd like to check it out as well. Great idea, good cause!!
  • thumb
    Apr 2 2011: 1 person tells 2, those 2 tell 4, 4 tell 8, so on and so forth. But what is the message? What is the change you are seeking Jimmy? TED awareness?

    Are you just talking about how general/significant/genuine change comes to be here?
    • thumb
      Apr 2 2011: Yes, TED awareness would be great!
      "My idea is this: try to influence people, at least one at a time (when you have the possibility) to do and think better, don't be afraid!" - I mean this in the most general way.
      If you see someone that is doing something that you know how to do better, give them some advice on the subject. If you find a person in need of hope, offer it to them.
      If you know of people with great ideas and dreams, introduce them to TED.
      Talk to people about right and wrong...

      Does any of this make any sense?
    • thumb
      Apr 2 2011: Perhaps i should have made the title "Do good" but it seemed so short...
      • Apr 2 2011: Sometimes Jimmy, The shortest comment says the most.
        • thumb
          Apr 2 2011: yeah, true but I was also afraid that it would get deleted since no one can honesty debate against that...
          It would end up a statement that you've all heard before.
        • thumb
          Apr 2 2011: Sounds like your title and intention is pretty broad Jimmy, so I will jump in with a couple stories and ideas. And yes, I percieve it to be a GREAT idea... thank you:>) Maybe we need to hear this information over and over again until it takes shape in our mind, heart and body?

          The barter system that is mentioned is GREAT! I have a huge barn, and people know I cannot throw things away that are still usable. When friends don't want something, they put it in the barn, and I've told all my friends, if they are looking for something, check the barn before buying:>) I think it's a "recycle program" that evolved simply because I have space and care about our environment and it continues to influence people:>)

          On another note, when regaining consciousness after a near fatal head injury 21 years ago, I got cards, letters, and notes that often started out by saying "you probably don't remember me, but 5 years ago, you said something that changed my life...or ten years ago, you did something for me that changed my life". I'm not blowing my horn here, because I wasn't doing anything special...maybe simply being kind to someone. That showed me however, that every word and action on our part influences people. We have the choice to influence in a good way, and help empower others and ourselves at the same time. And we have the ability to disempower others and ourselves at the same time with unkind, disrespectful words and actions. Which will it be in every moment? For me, caring for the environment and other people is a gift I give myself:>)
        • thumb
          Apr 2 2011: Colleen, your answer was exactly the kind of answer that I wanted to get on this thread!
          Thank you!