Living in a world of influence
Network Norfolk publisher Keith Morris reflects on the influence we have on the lives of each other, and how we should try to make those influences positive.
Almost every moment of our lives we are influenced by the world around us and especially by the people we encounter.
Sociologists estimate that even the most shy and retiring introvert influences around 10,000 people during their lifetime.
As a journalist, I influence people who read my words in the way that they think about, or understand more fully, the subject I am writing about.
As a local football referee, I spend a high pressured 90 minutes most Saturday afternoons trying to influence 22 players to approach the game in a fair and positive manner.
As a parent, I try to influence my, now grown-up, children by setting them an example they would want to follow, being true to my word and loving in my approach.
I myself am influenced by family, friends, work colleagues and acquaintances.
I think especially of four people who have had a positive influence on my life and all of whom sadly died during 2016, mostly in middle age:
Sally was a district nurse, wife and mother. She helped to run a community radio station I worked on for a few weeks over several summers. Although she did not have an official position, such as presenter or engineer, Sally was in fact the backbone of the entire station and key to its success.
Jo, who died aged 49, leaving behind two young children, was a former work colleague and senior PA. She also was a key hidden cog in the whole operation. Whatever the circumstances thrown at her, Jo always had a smile on her face as she sorted it all out.
Tim was a former deputy head-teacher, and a pioneering community activist, leading projects based around young people and football through his own drive, passion and organization, setting a positive example to hundreds.
Chris was a beloved uncle, a pig farmer, community leader and devoted father and grandfather. He was loved and admired by everyone who knew him, me included.
Sally, Jo, Tim, and Chris all exerted a positive influence on me through the way they lived and, ultimately, through the brave way in which they all faced up to terminal illnesses. Most had a strong Christian faith to help sustain them and their family and friends in difficult times.
As we all pass through both the joys and tribulations of life, I pray that God will give each one of us the strength and the faith to face them in a positive and influential manner.
The above image is courtesy of www.pixabay.com
Keith Morris is publisher of the Network Norfolk Christian news website, editor of the Good News for Norwich & Norfolk newspaper and Director of Communications for the Catholic Diocese of East Anglia. He lives in South Norfolk and is a member of Norwich Vineyard church.
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