29 May 2012

Hidden Impact

You are probably aware of the obvious and immediate impact you have on others but have you ever considered the hidden impact of what you choose to think, feel, say and do?

A few weeks ago some neighbours put some household items out for the twice-monthly collection. They neatly stacked 2 large armchairs and various other items on the nature strip next to an access road (to 4 large blocks of units) that borders our property ... exactly where it was required to be for our council to collect it on the designated day.

Sometime in the wee small hours of Saturday morning I was woken up by loud voices and noises (not unusual around here on the weekend, so I went back to sleep). It seems some late-going-home or early-rising people decided to scatter the chairs and other items all across the access road creating a blockade for the cars, bikes and prams etc. that use it.

Next morning, I could hear (and feel) a kerfuffle outside and when I looked, I saw the stuff blocking the road and a very angry driver, trying to move it out of the way so he could get on his way. Next, a delivery truck could not easily get up the road because the chairs were in the way, so he squeezed through and scraped his truck on the fence! A few more people got involved and the energy was quite heated. The stuff got moved a bit out of the way until someone else came along and moved it a bit more and on it went for most of the day.

Wow! Look at the hidden yet pervasive impact of that one choice - to scatter the rubbish - on a whole bunch of people. I got disturbed from a sound sleep, a man got held up and became frustrated and angry, a delivery driver damaged his van and other neighbours got involved to move all the rubbish back to the nature strip so it could be collected.

Whoever did this probably did not stop to consider how it might impact a whole bunch of people, and then a whole bunch more ... after all "they" were only having a bit of fun ... yet how do you think the "angry" man's day panned out, or the delivery driver who scraped his van, or the many other people walking around the roadblock or grumbling and being annoyed ... the impact just kept on going ... all for a "harmless bit of fun" ...

It became clear to me (again) HOW I create the whole of my own reality and that every choice I make has an immediate obvious impact and a not-so-immediate hidden impact. Which then leads to other people making choices that then impact others and on it goes. Every time I choose to do something without considering the consequences, the impact can create a chain of emotions that then continue to impact others.

We are all connected and ALL my choices have impact. It sure pays to consciously choose the impact I want to have and be aware of ALL the impact I am actually creating.

"If you think you're too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito."

Anita Roddick

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