Lee Wilkinson


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Do people truly understand the impact that they have on others.

An old post I had on TED just popped up and it had generated 52 comments. That in of it's self is not startling given some of the threads which lead from questions posed by the TED community. It did however get me thinking about the cause and effect that we have on others. Do we really stop to thin about the actions we take and how they may effect other people. Do Teachers understand the effect they will have on the Students who pass through their classes? Doctors, Firemen, Shopkeepers...Do we fully understand the power that we have to shape a persons life either short time or long. If we accepted that power would it scare us?

  • Jun 6 2013: People have different levels of sensibility. What effects some, doesn't effect others.
    Some people have no idea of the effect they have on others, but these people are rarely effected by others.
  • Jun 20 2013: Very Good question(s). Short answer (to all bar the last)... No. As for he last - I don't think scare is the right word.
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    May 26 2013: I don't think it is black and white.

    Do you really care enough to join the peace corp? Some do

    And there is the other end of the spectrum as well.
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    May 26 2013: I think the vast majority of people understand that their actions affect others and that people are, for the most part, aware of many impacts while also understanding that it is impossible to be aware of all of the impacts. Teachers, nurses, social workers, and doctors - professions focused on direct services to people- may be the most aware of this in their professional lives. These impacts are what draw people into these professions.

    My conjecture is that it is people not in the serving professions who may realize less clearly what they contribute to other people's health, learning, motivation, and quality of life.
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    May 26 2013: Hi Lee! Long time no see.....good question!

    I think/feel that when we are mindfully aware, we may have a chance to observe our impact on others:>)

    I was not aware of the impact I have on others years ago, and was reminded. After regaining consciousness from a near fatal injury, I was getting cards, letters, get well wishes from LOTS of people. Many times, the notes began with..."you probably don't remember me, but 5 years ago, you said something that changed my life".....or....."10 years ago you did something that changed my life"........

    I did remember them, and I remembered the circumstances. In all cases, I was not doing anything special.....simply being kind and respectful....maybe listening to them and caring with undivided attention.....nothing big in my perception, and I apparently had influenced them.

    That was the beginning of my understanding of how we impact each other in every single moment of the life experience. I feel that I am more aware now of the impact I MIGHT make, and have no expectations of making any impact at all:>)

    I do not believe we have the ability to "shape" a person's life, and we certainly have the opportunity to contribute to another person's life in every single moment. It does not scare me....it simply causes me to be more aware of the words I use and how I interact with others:>)