How can one person impact others on a scale beyond that person’s immediate vicinity?
In one sense your mere presence impacts the entire world – an aspect of chaos theory enables the idea that you occupy space which therefore cannot be occupied by anything else, with the consequence necessarily rippling out to affect the entire universe (known as “sensitive dependence on initial conditions”). I bet you did not know you were that influential!
In more practical terms, your impact or influence on others is a consequence of you taking some sort of action, such as touching, talking, writing, or otherwise making others consciously aware of your presence. Of course, this presumes you are interested in being noticed in some way … positively, I would hope.
Why would anyone not wish to be noticed? On the one hand, mostly out of fear – fear of failure, fear of making a mistake, fear of offending someone, fear of criticism whether justified or not, and so on.
On the other hand, why would anyone wish to be noticed? At one extreme we have pathological narcissists. Excluding those disturbed and warped souls, a desire to be noticed often boils down to one of two fundamental reasons. The first rather common reason is possessing a set of values that one believes should be evangelized, if not universally then at least to a broader range of people than one might otherwise be able to reach.
The second less common reason is found in those who are reasonably good at inductive reasoning – the ability to figure out general principles, given specific instances. Inductive reasoning in turn confers on the person so skilled, a better than average ability to predict outcomes, since outcomes are frequently sensitive to and dependent on initial conditions – i.e., those experiences one is subjected to in the “real” world.
In my particular case it turns out I seem to have a somewhat better than average ability to reason inductively, which has resulted in the development of a set of values that I do believe ought to be promoted more broadly.
So there we are, and here I am.