I’ve always wanted my students to recognize that their actions have impact. One way I help them visualize this is to consider humanity as a chain and each individual person as a link. Try it with me.
When your link on the chain performs an action, be it a kind or an unkind one, a positive or a negative one, it starts a vibration that resonates down the chain, impacting the entire chain. Those closest to your link are most impacted, of course, as you are most impacted by those closest to you. But in impacting those close to you, you carry influence as to how these links impact those on down the line.
Your kind smile can literally change someone’s day, thus sending ripples of warmth down the chain. What sort of vibrations are you sending along the chain?
Sometimes we think that to make a difference we have to do something big. But just the opposite is true. It’s in all of our little actions, from how we draw a breath to how we acknowledge the grocery store checker, that determines the state of the world. Believing this, I know I have incredible power to make a difference and this power exists in every minute of my day.
As we cultivate the belief that our smallest acts can make a big difference, we come to understand the concept of “human synergy.” I believe this is among the strongest forces in the universe and the next phase of human development is related to learning how to better make use of it.
Defined simply, human synergy is when two or more people come together in a way that accomplishes more than the people could do individually. It’s the age-old concept of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. I try to describe it to my students this way:
There is you. There is me. And then, coming together, there is us. Each alone, there are only two things, you and me. Together we have three things, you, me, and us.
What kind of me do I bring to the us?
In my efforts to promote kindness, I once wrote: “In celebrating one acquaintance, we celebrate all of our acquaintances. In celebrating all of our acquaintances, we celebrate everyone.”
I could have said that in our actions with others we determine the human condition. Engaging in acts of kindness for others is an act of creating a positive wave of human synergy. It harnesses something greater than what first may be apparent.
In this light, we are all superheroes. I encourage you to exercise your amazing superpowers for good.