Just because someone has influence doesn’t mean they have character. ~ Art Jonak
It became crystal clear again this week that in the absence of character bluster and bravado are a poor replacement. When authorities and leaders resort to ad hominem and strawman attacks because they have made self-righteous and self-aggrandizing choices that they can’t defend with logic or honesty.
It would seem that I should be equally skeptical of the corollary ” just because someone has character doesn’t mean they have influence”. It would be depressing and disappointing to consider that honesty, transparent, caring people lack influence. It is likely just a matter of scale. If 100,000 Twitter followers or 10,000,000 YouTube views suggests influence then a meaningful relationship and mentorship is insignificant. But if a changed life, a changed disposition or a changed heart is the measure then influence may be inversely proportional to following or views.
I had two remarkable meetings today where we discussed a range of issues and differences of opinions. I left both with a fresh perspective, new data points and challenges and a sense of fulfillment. Both meetings were far more influential than any Facebook post or Instagram photo I will encounter today.
Make Today Remarkable, by setting your expectations at a human scale,
Do you have a friend? Are you a friend? A good friend? A BFF? What does ‘friend ‘ mean to you?
According to Dictionary.com
1.a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.
2.a person who gives assistance; patron; supporter:
friends of the Boston Symphony.
3.a person who is on good terms with another; a person who is not hostile:
Who goes there? Friend or foe?
4.a member of the same nation, party, etc.
5.(initial capital letter) a member of the Religious Society of Friends; a Quaker.
6.a person associated with another as a contact on a social-media website:
We’ve never met, but we’re Facebook friends.
Seems simple and superficial. I have a test of friendship that might be onerous and might explain why I only have one real friend. ” Who would you call a 2am if something bad happened? Whose call would you respond to at 2am if they reached out”
Is that too much to expect? Sure we do all kinds of other stuff together and share all kinds of similar and different views but when the chips are down who do you count on?
We don’t interfere in each other’s lives. We don’t have a standing date/appointment every Friday. We live our lives and share stories when together.
I heard a message years ago that posits that there are four types of relationships; intimate, personal, social and public. Apparently most people have one intimate relationship, a few (less than 10) people, in personal, who might be called friends, a dozen to 20 people in social who know your name and a bit about your family and work and then up to 100 who recognize you and would know where you cross paths. My beloved fills the intimate role and has for more than 40 years. For a long time I would have said that I had zero in personal and now have 1. I am not interested in filling the prescribed quota. I have hundreds in social who I know well enough to carry on more than a superfluous conversation with. There are thousands of times in a year I ‘meet’ someone who says ” I know you by reputation’ or ” my friend talks about you’. I always take the statement as a positive and try to engage them on that level.
The theory is that we all try to make offers to move up the scale; public to social, social to personal, personal to intimate. Offers are accepted or rejected, gracefully or not. New relationships are fostered or not. In most cases we spend our life moving up and down scales. I have never had the energy for the effort. Despite spending a lot of time in in groups and with crowds, I don’t get energized by it. I would prefer a quiet evening in deep conversation about an idea or issue with one person or another couple to big gatherings.
How do you treat friendship? Do you have dozens of friends? more? Do you get a buzz in large groups or is it draining?
Make Today Remarkable, by doing what lifts you,