Is your influence positive or negative?


Andrea Arroyo, Lead Graphic Designer

I think it’s interesting how our generation is so caught up in social media trends. You get on  these platforms and see hundreds of people who label themselves as “influencers”, and lots of  people pay special attention to them. Is there something wrong with that? Not always, but it has  taken away from a very important fact. Every single person is an influencer, whether positive or  negative is up to the individual. Think of the people you love most in the world, and truly reflect  on one question for a long moment. How are you influencing their lives? 

Some of you may be thinking you don’t influence anyone, but that’s not true. Our behavior,  and actions all play into someone else’s life daily. Your parents, siblings, partner, coworker,  hairdresser, the list goes on. That said, it is the generations younger than you that are the most  impressionable. We have a responsibility as human beings to lift one another up, or we will all  eventually fall. 

It doesn’t matter what political party you belong to, your country, your race, or your  beliefs…we have separated ourselves into lots of different categories and forgotten how to  genuinely care for one another, and reach beyond all these things. The kids that have horrible  home lives, but you take thirty minutes out of your day to show up for them in kind ways will  remember you. That niece or nephew coming into adulthood that watches you drink yourself into  oblivion will remember you. The waitress that accidentally spilled water on you, but you didn’t  make her feel bad about it, will remember you. We are living in an era that is more capable of  peace and prosperity than in any other time period, and yet we are more in moral poverty than  ever because of one letter in the alphabet, I. 

“I have the right to do this”, “I can say that”, yes but how does that impact the lives around  you? It is my opinion that there are only two cycles of influence in this life, and those are  positive and negative. Every single day we wake up, we choose to give our time and effort to one  or the other, and they are not temporary, but lasting. I’m not excluding myself from this, I also  have to make this decision. Maybe only five people will read this opinion piece, but if out of  those five just one truly starts to realize they are valuable and can make a difference for the  common good then the world will become a better place. I have seen the influences people have  made in my life and those around me. Some of them showed me the road to a longer, more  fulfilled life…others showed me that I didn’t want to end up consumed by things that would  cause me unnecessary pain, or even an early grave. If you think you don’t matter, you do…show others that they do too.