WOW Word-Of-the-Week #320: Socital Influence

September 21, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Societal Influence – things said or stated that affect our behavior.

Do you believe that our society has an influence over behavior? Do you believe that any society has an influence over behavior in the past? Do you believe it is possible that societal influence could be wrong?

Ironically, as I write this I am in South Africa where the influence of the Dutch, English, and Portuguese societies had a major influence in how the South African people have lived. The following story is another excerpt from Chapter One of my book, “Nice Girls Do… Things Like That.”

The Sky Cap of Life

Tahlulla, the owner of a wellness center, was born in 1957. She is the second of five children, three girls and two boys. She was raised in New England. When I asked her if she had any memories on selfishness growing up she said, “Since there were five of us, you never got a whole of anything. We shared everything. Period. Societal influence, on the other hand, is probably where I got the message to ‘not be selfish’ and to give to others.

So what comes to mind for me is what I call the sky cab of life.  I feel like I am in the airport at the baggage claim carousel. First comes the large baggage (family, broken relationships, addictions, etc.). Then comes the baggage that contains the missed opportunities, bad choices, and current circumstances. Next the baggage labeled fragile filled with a host of emotions, fears and long term suffering. And then there is always the lost luggage containing the hopes and dreams.”

Now to carry all this baggage (the sky cab of life) is truly a choice; and the choice is this: you can choose to become physically ill by chasing your universe, exhausting and depleting your bodies systems and vital organs (which is more and more prevalent with the unexplained illnesses, autoimmune disorders, cancers, etc.) Or you can choose to become physically well by staying still and allowing your universe to revolve around you.” “Selfish……….I don’t think so.”

This week think about what has influenced you. Do you feel societal influence has played a role in why you might feel that being selfish is a bad thing? Are you carrying a lot of baggage that’s not yours? Here’s a thought, put it back on the carousel and leave it at the airport for good! And now, see yourself on your next trip, where all you bring, is a small carry on.

This week focus on what “baggage” you’re carrying around based on a societal influence. Can you lighten you load and let go of it? Are you aware of how much freedom you have?

Reader Responses

“Can one argue the obverse that “individual(s) can/do influence society?  Kind of the “chicken or the egg” conundrum.” – John

“This is one of your best WOWs.” – CW

“Well thought out and well-written. DAMN good read. Thanks for sharing it with me. If this is what you can produce on a trip around the world; may I suggest you go more often.” – PC