“The two most important days in your life are… the day you are born, and…
the day you find out why”
Anita Roddick, cosmetic genius and founder of The Body Shop once said, “If you think you’re too small to make an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito in the room.” Love the quote; admire the lady. Anita lived it out. She was a pioneer as The Body Shop was one of the first organizations to discontinue the use of animals for testing as well as the first to promote fair trade in third world countries.
Mosquitos, aside from being a small nuisance on a Saturday evening, are considered to be one of the single greatest health menaces in our modern society. Talk about an impact. The amusing thing about mosquitos is that these fourteen-millimeter bloodsuckers have no idea the impact they have on the human race. But I believe we can backdoor this menace by employing the same despicable tactics used on the more sophisticated species, us.
First, we will capture all the mosquitos and bring them into a decent sized conference room. Once everyone is comfortable and excited about what’s next, we will announce the most notorious mosquito out there, invite the headliner to the podium (perhaps the one that caused the most malaria) and have him or her speak on becoming a mosquito of influence and impact. Then we will have a commentator explain precisely how they have been elevated to such a lofty position and watch the whole health menace moniker unravel. Perhaps there will be an immediate jockeying for position. Mosquitos will talk about their exploits on their plasma break, how many people they “stuck” for the year, and some will weave tales of mass malaria outbreaks due to their work alone. Others will mock DEET and OFF; they will talk about how foolish the skinned people are with their mosquito nets. Ten to twenty percent will rise to the top, the remaining thousands of mosquitos will begin the comparison game, stop sharpening their beaks, and walk away from the conference with the feeling that they will never be able to create an outbreak, cause as many welts as so and so, and will resign themselves to hitting the slow dogs and deer and give up on humans completely. Problem solved. If their primary target, humankind, has taught us any lessons, the majority of mosquitos will decide they just don’t “have it” and will resign themselves to mediocrity.
Catch my point? The impact of one person, one life, is profound. More often than not, we have mortgaged our potentiality for influence on those around us because we have simply misjudged its punch (or sting). Mother Teresa once said, “If each of us would only sweep our own doorstep, the whole world would be clean.”
Let’s not over complicate this, friends. Choice, not chance, is the only road to impact. Consider this for a moment if you will: Oprah Winfrey, Jesus of Nazareth, Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa, Billy Graham, Abraham Lincoln, Nelson Mandela, George Washington Alexander the Great, Henry Ford, Albert Einstein, Aristotle, Rosa Parks, Sojourner Truth, Gandhi, William Wilberforce, John Wooden, etc., etc. A couple of questions for you: At what point did someone sit down with each of them and inform them that they would influence the world? At what place, did someone pull them aside and give them permission to make a dent in the annals of history? At what age were they convinced that their influence would rewrite history books? In all likelihood, none were ever actually given permission or were persuaded to do so. They simply chose to make a splash.
“Let us live so that when we come to die,
even the undertaker will be sorry.”
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