Last month I had the opportunity to hear Chris Jones speak (the father of Mitchell Jones) at a conference I attended and I haven’t been able to get his words out of my head since. If you aren’t familiar with Mitchell’s story, Mitchell suffered from Duchene muscular dystrophy, a muscle wasting disease that usually follows a path of progressive muscle deterioration and is fatal by late teens/early 20s. During the summer of 2012, Mitchell’s dad, Chris, started a Facebook page to keep family and friends up to date on Mitchell’s declining health. Chris’s messages of hope and faith inspired people and the page grew. Mitchell passed away of heart failure on March 2, 2013, but Chris has continued sharing his inspiring outlook on life and its purpose with the world via the Facebook page.
The part of Chris’s message that struck me to my core talked about influence. He talked about how we’ve been through many periods as human beings, such as the Iron Age and the Industrial age, and that he believes, “we have reached the Age of Influencers.” At no other time in human history have we had the tools and ability to reach out and touch others around the globe. Our spheres of influence are vast and powerful, yet we should never underestimate the influence of small acts. The ripples of one small act can have deep and lasting impact. In using our influence Chris said three things are important: First, authenticity—we need to speak from the heart. Second, substance—people out there are searching for help. What are we giving them to fill those needs? And third, meaning—meaning matters.
As we move about in our daily lives we have the opportunity to influence those around us, whether it be our children, our neighbors, a stranger in line at the grocery store, or someone in a faraway country that is reading something we wrote on Facebook or a blog. Are we using that influence for good? Are we making moments matter? Can we say that the world is a better place because of our influence?