Tim Berners-Lee. Ever heard of him? How about Paul Lauterbur and Peter Mansfield?
Still drawing a blank? Okay, Noah. Thomas Edison. Adam and Eve. Paul. What about them?
Every one of these people changed the world. I could go on with a list of hundreds more who have made this world what it is today.
I think all of us have a drive to be this type of person. We want to make something of ourselves. We want to do something that makes a difference in other people's lives.
It's odd that many people don't realize they are already in a position to do so. Every choice that we make affects other people.
For example, I'm finishing up a story this week about my dad and trail mix. He loves his trail mix. Growing up, we were not allowed to pick and choose what we wanted from the trail mix. Trail mix was made to be eaten together: peanuts, M&Ms, raisins, and whatever else you like in your mix.
Despite dad's desires, I still have many memories of trying to fish out the M&Ms from the trail mix without it making a difference in the overall scheme of the bag. But no matter how hard I tried, this fact remains: if I eat all of the chocolate candy out of the trail mix, I will alter the next person's experience of an authentic handful of trail mix.
That's a simple example of how our choices affect others, yet true. My job is another, more relevant example. I write for a living. I have deadlines for my writing. If someone needs my writing to complete a project and I miss my deadline, I'm adding stress to their workload because their time line for completing their project will be crunched if they don't receive my writing on time.
One last story my husband shared with me. A man was driving on a curving road and decided his engine needed fixing. He pulled over, but didn't quite get his car all the way over to the side of the road. Half of his car stuck out in the 2-lane highway. Plus, he decided to leave his car door open while he looked into the hood of his car. Another car with two parents in the front and a child in the back was coming up and saw that their lane was blocked by this car. They swerved into oncoming traffic to miss hitting the car and the car door. A car was coming from the other direction and both parents died in a head-on collision.
What if that man who was fixing his car had decided to shut his car door or have his car completely in the shoulder of the road? That mom and dad would still be alive. Wow.
Everything we do affects people around us because we are an interdependent society. We need each other.
That's where the Holy Spirit comes in. He helps us be better than ourselves.
Of course, the person who changed the world the most is Jesus Christ. As fully God and fully man, He changed the world in a radical way and proves the point that with God, you and I can become the individuals that next change the world.
By the way... in case you're curious, Tim Berners-Lee started the World Wide Web we now know as the Internet. Paul Lauterbur and Peter Mansfield created magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). (info from forbes.com)