Influence


September 3rd, 2012

July 20th 1969 was a school day. It was just eight days before my 14th birthday. I was in Form 2, or as it’s now known, Year 8. My school was large, with over 1000 students. I didn’t like it much, and I was anxious. What if the teachers didn’t let us watch the moon landing? Were there enough televisions at the school? Would I be able to see it? It was history in the making. I HAD to see it. I must have been persuasive enough for my mum to let me stay home from school and watch it with her, on our scratchy black and white television. We shared a love of space travel, of science fiction, and of wonder. We shared watching Neil Armstrong land on the moon.

Fast forward to August 6, 2012. I was sitting at my computer, NASA live streaming, in colour from Mars (from MARS!) the landing of Curiosity. At the same time as I was watching this I was skyping with a friend in the UK. It all seems so natural and everyday.

I’m pretty sure I never imagined such a thing at 14.

Today I’m surrounded by devices that keep me connected, somewhat distracted, and occasionally facilitate work.

Many events – like the moon landing – and many people, have influenced my thinking, the way I work, the person I am. I’ve met some of these amazing people in person or on-line (I no longer make a distinction).

Most of them probably don’t even know what influence they have on me. Or on others.

Which is my point.

It’s impossible to know what influence we have on other people.

Which is all the more reason to do the things that matter, in ways that feel right, with people we believe in.

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