If, by the midpoint of life, you haven’t become president of a world economy, dictator of a nuclear armed force, owner of a real estate empire, ruler of a kingdom, originator of a line of clothing and cosmetic products made famous because of your physical beauty, or possess a talent so perfected that you have become a household name and groupies follow your movements on twitter to catch a glimpse of you as you dash from one hot spot to another, you are in the majority.
Though most of us aren’t in those places of power, it would seem that half of the world is determined to get there by knocking on the door marked “15 minutes of fame” or stepping on the backs of Third World labor, or making ladder rungs out of the misfortunes of those foolish enough to buy into the American dream before their salaries could support the payments.
Fame and fortune are usually the currency of this kind power.
There are also those whose power is a lightning rod, hopefully (but perhaps not) illuminating new and good possibilities. God bless ‘em!
But, most of us don’t possess (nor perhaps want) either of these kinds of power.
Fortunately there is another kind of power that we all possess. It is the power to have an influence, to touch the lives of others and thereby create lasting ripples far beyond what we can see with our own eyes.
Susanna, a gifted tutor, has for decades helped early readers find confidence and joy in reading and has magically guided children out of math fears toward math fun,
and Liz, whose mantra “speak up” has led her to modest acts of courage that ripple through her work place and community on a daily basis,
and Linda, who brings a calm but determined presence to community meetings where feeding and housing the homeless in local churches is debated every year as the cold of winter storms approach.
It may have taken decades for you to realize that you possess this sometimes quiet, always subtle power and that it is valuable and worthy of your acknowledgment and it is never too late for your presence to be a powerful influence.
You possess a power that may not be flashy or even noticed but is real in its ramifications. You access this power to influence by your ways of being and by your attention to how you are present in any situation. In the simplest of ways you can make a difference.
Here are a few slight shifts of attention that can put you solidly on the power grid of presence, making you profoundly influential.
· Making choices from a sense of purpose rather than from desire.
· Educating others about what you have to offer and what is important to you rather than persuading them to merely believe as you do.
· Being aware of your influence rather than preoccupied with your worth.
· Choosing to do the necessary but mundane things of life rather than telling yourself you have to do them.
· Devoting your self to life rather than being possessed by the things of life.
· Looking to what is essential in everyone and everything rather than accepting what seems apparent on the surface of anything.
· Working from a sense of service rather than ambition.
· Filling your self with joy rather than with pleasure.
· Orienting toward optimism rather than pessimism.
· Truly valuing your gifts and those of others rather than exploiting them.
In the simplest of ways and with the tiniest of shifts, you can live from the power of your presence, naturally influencing the world in a positive way.
~ Wear a smile and have friends; wear a scowl and have wrinkles. What do we live for if not to make the world less difficult for each other? ~
George Eliot (MaryAnne Evans Lewes)