Monday, June 25, 2012

An Impact

Have you ever thought about what impact you will leave or have left on the world? Are you here and then gone? Or is there a purpose to your existence? Do you know what that is? Will you leave your mark? Does it matter?

Pretty heady stuff for a 600-word blog post, I know, but this is on my mind tonight. I think that many people get to a point in their lives where they wonder why they are here. It seems to be a boomer preoccupation but other generations consider this too. And many people don’t. I’m not making any judgments.

I do believe that each of us has some kind of impact, whether we try to or not. We affect our family, our friends, maybe our co-workers. Some people are lucky to have a positive impact on people they don’t even know. Some people have a negative impact too.

Even though I whine about the current state of my life, I know I am blessed. I have led an incredible life so far and for the first 45 years of it I didn’t really care that much about my reason for existence or if I had any impact on people. In more recent years I have begun to ask these questions and I even have a few answers. I know from feedback I’ve received that I have had a positive impact on at least a few people I know and on some I’ve never met in person. It’s another thing I am grateful for. I also know I’ve had a negative impact on some people. Although I didn’t go negative on purpose I regret that part anyway.

Is there some purpose to my life? I ask myself that regularly. I can say, without any conceit, that there has to be some purpose for me being here. My attitude and the various things I’ve done for a living all point to at least one simple function: I am here to make people feel good about themselves. It’s mostly a little thing but I feel good about it. As a DJ, I regularly played somebody’s favorite song. As a talk show producer/host I have given a voice to somebody’s cause or situation. As a friend I have been a decent listener and maybe provided some useful advice.

In some ways those things are special but anybody could have done that. You, for example. Maybe you’ve said a kind word to someone or have shown emotional support to a friend in need. Those actions mean you have had an impact on somebody. Some people have had far greater impact; first responders in a disaster, doctors and nurses in a hospital, self-help authors, musicians, preachers and teachers. Nearly all of us have at least some potential to make an impact on the world, whether it is helping hundreds of thousands of people or just one.

At this point in my own life I would like to use the resources I have as a mid-level media type to have some kind of positive impact, not just because it would make me feel good but because I can. Maybe I’ve just answered one of my initial questions, the one about is there some purpose to my life. At the very least I’ve thought it through.

What about you? Have you considered the purpose of your life? You don’t have to have a purpose; you can get up every day and do what you do. But maybe there is more to it. If so, don’t you owe it to yourself and to the world to try and figure it out? Just a thought.

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