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The Power of One Person

Updated on September 7, 2012

Now for a subject near and dear to my heart. It’s funny where writing ideas come from; if we are receptive, ideas are everywhere. The idea for this article came from a comment I received from Bruce Cogerson; in the comment he mentioned that our words have an effect on other people, and that led to me thinking about the general effect we have on the multitude of people we meet during our lifetime.

When you actually think about it, we literally meet thousands of people during our time on Earth. How do those people perceive us? What lasting impression do we give to people? Are we a positive or negative influence on others? That, my friends, is the subject of this article.

I have kicked around an idea for several years now, about how we are remembered after we die. What will people think of our time spent? Every single person we come in contact with leaves with a general impression of us. That impression may be formed in seconds or, in the case of those who know us well, the impression may be formed over years of contact.

With that in mind, I thought I would take you on a journey through my life. Let’s see what kind of impressions I have left on others. We will also get a feel for how many people I have affected through my words and actions.

The early years
The early years | Source

PRE-ADULT YEARS

We had a lot of neighbors who we interacted with daily as I was growing up. There were probably fifty people I knew, by name, in our little neighborhood. In school, counting grade school, high school, and college, I probably knew three hundred students who I interacted with on a regular basis.

I was active in sports, most notably baseball and bowling, so I would say over those pre-adult years I competed against five hundred and possibly more.

I also had contact with people who worked with my mom at the local Dime Store and my dad where he worked. Toss in another fifty people just to be safe. Then there was church; I played the organ at funerals and weddings, so holy cow (pun intended) I probably met another hundred at least and most likely more.

We can really hit some dizzying numbers when we talk about brief, casual meetings with strangers, at the store shopping, at recreation sites, at the movie, etc. What would be a conservative guess? At least hundreds but more likely thousands were met over the span of twenty-one years.

Every single one of them came away with an impression of me. What was that impression? Most likely a good one since I was a friendly, likeable kid growing up. I was courteous and helpful, and I was raised to be polite and sociable.

Okay, so far so good!

ADULT YEARS 21-30

Oh goodness, how many people did I meet through my jobs and social scenes? During those nine years I had five different jobs and also went back to college. I taught high school for two years and probably was in daily contact with 500 students daily. My other jobs took me on the road, meeting with customers. I can tell you that the students loved me and my customers and employers thought I was hard-working and reliable.

I was married when I was twenty-eight, and those early years of marriage were good, so the report card at this time, although incomplete, was still showing positive marks.

ADULT YEARS 30-50

I call these my dark years because alcohol slowly began to affect the way I dealt with people. No longer was I Mr. Reliable. No longer was I Mr. Happy Go Lucky! No longer was I a person who could be counted on for a kind word or deed. These were the selfish years, fueled by alcoholism and characterized as a slow descent into a personal hell.

How many people did I meet during those twenty years? Your guess is as good as mine. I’m sure a few would say they enjoyed knowing me during that time. I’m also sure that quite a few, including my wife, would say it was not a pleasurable experience being in my life.

Easily hundreds met and without a doubt I receive low scores for this twenty year period of my life. Garbage in/garbage out….I infected a great many people with my personal garbage and negative attitude.

Finding balance and happiness
Finding balance and happiness | Source

ADULT YEARS 50-63

The recovery had begun, but it was slow at best. Most of this time was without alcohol, but still, the stinkin’ thinkin’ dominated my life and outlook. Consequently, I get mixed grades during this time. I taught a lot of kids over this period, and most of them were positively influenced by me, and of course I knew their parents. I dated a few women, got engaged, got married a second time, and struggled often.

People met? Thousands! I’m guessing a 50/50 split on positive and negative influence during this period. Without a doubt the last six years have been 90% positive as I learned to live a life of recovery; I am a completely different person these days.

WHAT’S THE SCORECARD LOOK LIKE BILLYBUC

I am willing to bet that during my sixty-three years I have been in contact with at least ten thousand people, and that may be a conservative estimate. I would also bet that of those ten thousand, 80% have positive thoughts about me, so 8,000 people have had their lives enhanced in some way by knowing me.. The flip side, of course, is that 20%, or two thousand, have not had their lives enhanced by knowing me, and I am not fond of that number. Much too high!

I have conflicting feelings and thoughts regarding those figures. It is heartwarming to realize I have had a positive effect on so many people. It is also slightly depressing to realize how many I affected in a negative way. 2,000 people who I could have helped or who I could have given happiness to but didn’t, because of my own short-sightedness and selfishness. Far, far too many in my opinion!

SO WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?

Well, happily I still have some time here on Earth. I have made amends to those people I hurt in the past. For those who have been adversely affected by my actions in an indirect way, there is nothing I can do.

What I can do is make sure from this day forward that I am a positive influence on all who I meet. How much time do I have left to get it right? One day? One month? One year? Twenty years? There is no way to know, but there is a way to know how I am going to treat others in the time remaining. I make a commitment to be a positive influence from this day forward. I will be the best friend, neighbor, father and husband I can be daily. I will have my stumbles, as we all do, but the general theme for this boy from this day forward is to be Mr. Positive.

PIPO...Positive In/Positive Out

Take my poll please

What percentage of people have you had a positive influence on during your life?

See results

THINK ABOUT IT

I believe it is so important for us all to understand the impact we have on other people. I am a firm believer in paying it forward, and also in kismet. I believe our positive actions towards others multiply and spread out into the world, like ripples on a pond. One act of kindness creates other acts of kindness. None of us live in a bubble separated from the world, and yes, what goes around comes around.

I can be the creator of a positive revolution in my immediate world, and so can all of you reading this. When I smile at a stranger on the street I may brighten their day just enough so that they, in turn, smile at someone else. When I reach out a helping hand to someone in need, they in turn will do the same when they meet someone in need. It is the gift that keeps on giving, but it has to start with us. We cannot sit on the sidelines and expect someone else to start the Kindness Revolution.

These are tough times. I am willing to bet that for most reading this article, these are the toughest times they can remember. The economy is struggling, people are out of work, people are grumpy and/or depressed….when will it end? How will it end? I rely on loved ones and myself to make changes that will be positive in nature. I cannot bemoan the current situation and do nothing about it; that would be the ultimate in hypocrisy.

How many people will you affect during the remainder of your days? Thousands for sure! Think about that fact for a second. You can bring positive vibes to thousands of people, who in turn will do the same because of your acts of kindness and compassion. That, my friends, is a revolution by any definition of the word. That, my friends, is a goal worth living for.

We all make a difference! We all matter! We all can be the flame that illuminates this world!

Will you join me? I can’t do it alone. My days are numbered and I want to know that my vision for a better world is shared by others. Here is the torch of kindness. Here is the torch of compassion. Here is the torch of empathy and here is the torch of love. Carry them with me and let’s brighten this world!

2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, I don't remember the last time I saw someone type guffaww!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 5 years ago from Central Florida

      Wow, you naughty boy! Thanks for ending my evening with a genuine guffaww!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, I believe in kismet as much as I believe in anything and yes, I could still sit down and play a tune or two on the organ....notice I didn't say on my organ. LOL

      Thank you Sha; you are a good friend and a wonderful person and I respect you greatly!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 5 years ago from Central Florida

      What an awesome hub! I'll tell ya tho, my idex finger got cramps scrolling to the bottom of the comment section! :-)

      First off, I'd like to say, "I didn't know you play organ!" Awesome! Do you still play, Bill?

      This entire hub spoke to me, but when I came across the word "kismet", I said, "oh, yeah I know what the message is!". Kismet is one of my favorite terms. It's synonymous with "what comes around goes around" and also with "destiny".

      Wonderful food for thought, my friend! Thank you!!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Maria, I, too, trust Rahul....he is wise beyond his years....and you are kind beyond yours. Thank you; I'm all about building people up because God knows, many need the affirmation.

      Thank you my friend!

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 5 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      I never underestimate the power of a pimp from Rahul...

      I never underestimate the power of some inspiration and wisdom from my new friend Bill.

      From a simple smile to thanking a complete stranger for an unexpected kindness, we simply never know our effect on someone... I love the way you think and express, my dear. Voted UP and UABI. Hugs, Maria

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rahul, perhaps it was that brink of destruction that gave me the perspective about life that I have today.

      Thank you my friend; you are as loyal a follower as I could hope to have, and you are greatly appreciated.

    • rahul0324 profile image

      Jessee R 5 years ago from Gurgaon, India

      From a youth who was on the brink of destruction..... to a man who has seen it all....

      Whenever I need some inspiration..... I read something by Bill Holland..

      Another feather in the cap :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Trinity, a smile comes across my face every single time I see that you have visited. That is a gift that I thank you for.

      Sending you warm thoughts and a hug!

    • Trinity M profile image

      Trinity M 5 years ago

      You always know how to ask the really deep and soul searching questions don’t you my dear friend? I don’t know how good I’ve been so far but I sure am going to work a lot harder in the future. I will just follow that bright light that is you and I will be sure to stay on the right path. Great job my friend. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Travmaj; to tell the truth, I hadn't thought of it until I thought of it. LOL Once it popped into my brain it seemed rather important to me. :) Thank you my friend.

    • travmaj profile image

      travmaj 5 years ago from australia

      Hello, this is so interesting and something I hadn't thought about - all the people I've met - have I left the best impression - made a difference somehow? I hope so - however, from this moment on I'll be more aware and eager to share some love and laughter and positive thoughts. Thank you very much.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Gajanis, I completely agree....we all have a huge impact. Thank you!

    • gajanis786 profile image

      gajanis786 5 years ago

      This is an excellent hub......no doubt we all make a difference to this world and it's people. In my opinion, the best way people can remember us well, is through our good deeds and good behavior.Thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dusty, I remember my dad telling me that when you are in battle it's not about country or patriotism or any of that....it's about the guys standing next to you. He said your world shrinks to the size of a foxhole, and there ain't no atheists in a foxhole. I don't' forget those words or the example of heroism and dedication to your men.

      If you come across that video I would love to watch it. Thank you Sir!

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      toknowinfo, that is a great experience to share with us. Thank you for that! We all have such an impact on people and most of us are not aware. I love how your friends and loved ones stepped to the plate in your time of need. What a great community you are surrounded by.

      Thank you my friend!

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 5 years ago

      Hi Billy,

      This hub is very thought provoking, as your hubs always are. It is interesting to think of the impact we have on each other. Often we don't realize it. 12 years ago, I had an ectopic pregnancy and I lost 60% of my blood, to the point that I am lucky to be here today. It took me a long time to get back on my feet, but my house was constantly filled with people who made sure my kids were taken care of, and I was doing okay. When I was surprised at the turnout of people who voluntarily came to help, every one of them told me how much I had done for them. I never realized how much I helped them, I was just being me. I never really thought about my influence on others, I just help people where I can, and had to learn not everyone wants my help. But my main focus is the influence I have on my children. The example I set and the "torch" I give them, I already see and it makes me proud.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      krsharp, fantastic addition to the disucssion! I felt the same way as a teacher. I hope to see more join this little bandwagon of mine in the future. Thank you greatly!

    • krsharp05 profile image

      Kristi Sharp 5 years ago from Born in Missouri. Raised in Minnesota.

      Wonderful. It reminds me of the quote, "Live a good and honorable life, then when you get older and think back, you'll enjoy it a second time." All of my years spent coaching gymnastics were about being a good role model and hoping that if I taught one young woman how to be strong, independent and to make good choices, then I did my job. This is an inspiration. -K

    • 50 Caliber profile image

      50 Caliber 5 years ago from Arizona

      When out gunned, the only guys I know who didn't run are of two categories, shot/unable to run or liars, when we sat a chopper on the deck in an extraction that was a red extraction called a "dust off" those guys looked like they were running in slow motion, some carrying others but seconds became minutes, in the door we could shoot over their heads beside their track but when I got seat number two, we sat up there and watched and waited talking back and forth on the plan to get in the air and moving as fast at we could get the Lycoming to spin, I look back in amazement as I get to see videos of Army pilots on a slick huey with no guns extract a large number of out gunned troops, I think it was 5 or 6 flights in to get it done and the first time they used the rotors to cut the path straight down in the bamboo and triple canopy to hit the deck and the rest of the flights were their skill of dropping into the same circle they had cut 4 or 5 times with a shrinking perimeter as the troops got less the circle receded allowing the enemy to move in closer, I stand amazed at the re-enacted video of these two 19 or so year old pilots who went out on a Sunday to take the Chaplain to his destination to hold religious services. They definitely had God guiding them that day. I'll have to ask Mckbirdbks if he has the video as I can't remember the name and I think it was a History channel presentation. It humbled me to the core of the dedication and tenacity of the two pilots. If your interested I'll find the location. truly worth the 45 minutes I think it was,

      Peace,

      dust

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dusty,

      I don't know why but your comment reminded me of a friend who served in '70 in Nam. He came back with a medical discharge. He had been shot in the ass as he was running away from a firefight. He took so much grief from his friends one day about it, and I was there at the time listening to the exchange, and someone asked him why he was running away.....and he said "because I was scared shitless." Pretty simple, really...he saw the elephant and the elephant scared him. Those who judge others who have seen the elephant don't get it....we have no idea how we would react unless we actually have to react. It's very easy to talk the talk, but until you have tracers flying overhead, and until you see shapes moving in the night, you have not walked the walk.

      Some things we will never know until we know.

      Thank you sir! Have a great weekend!

    • 50 Caliber profile image

      50 Caliber 5 years ago from Arizona

      I missed the edit window, and when speaking of firing at muzzle flashes their "thing" was just disappearing like magic, with out a trace, not even an underground tunnel to be found, they were just gone.

    • 50 Caliber profile image

      50 Caliber 5 years ago from Arizona

      Ah, ha ha ha, Billybuc, you just reminded me about something I found funny and my little brother would still kick me in the middle of the goal posts if he could over the laughing I did when he jumped both feet into the Marine Corps with his attitude not to be out done.

      They took him and as recruiters do they leave out important disclosures when roping a goat. They didn't tell him that as long as I was active he was the sole remaining son and could not be deployed into a war zone, period. He was 1st chair trombone in the grade school through high school band and the band had won state marching band challenges and played the big events like the state fair, they were really good and had a instructor who was up beat and trained them to do fancy stuff to go with their non-standard marching band music that garnered them trophy's and much attention. He landed right in the middle of the Marine Corps Band, his enlistment was post draft era and he got the full 4 year misery of tooting his horn followed by 2 years inactive in line to be called back if need ever arose. He was not officially separated until those years expired. He had a chance in 72 when I was state side holding the opportunity to step out with a medical discharge under honorable conditions and he was rooting for me to stand down and as soon as I found out I could return to active duty and deploy as 2nd seat pilot again I went for the ring to get a clean "Honorable Discharge" and he was left playing events around the country and I did run into him in Okinawa while he was doing change of command ceremony and he was madder than I really knew about feeling I cheated him out of his chance to go "get some". I have never convinced him to this day he was a better man for not getting involved in a whole lotta wrong that "we" as a country did to the many unknowing people of South Nam. They didn't have radios or news papers in the bad lands of fishermen and rice farmers living in grass huts, or know communism vs capitalism and had no Idea that we called them friend and blew up their boats, burned their grass huts and poisoned their crops and turned their jungles into burnt broken matchstick landscapes,

      I don't think they ever understood why and for the most part neither did I. All these years later he still flares up red in the face if someone breaches the topic while we are together at the time. I never say a word in response I let him handle it, after the times I laughed at him for his very Honorable job of playing memorials all around the world at different battle sites Marines fought and died, it was cruel to belittle his job so I've told him time and again to tell his tales exactly like he wants them told, and if he chooses to lie about them a bit, that as his brother, I'll swear to it. In the truth he missed nothing to be proud of when hammering rounds into targets of muzzle flashes, all we could see, did we get them? or did they do their thing, it seemed like a checker game a big score for our side and then the next a big loss. A 58,000 to 4 or 5 million loss the latter from Cambodia, Laos, South/ North Vietnam? a very large difference in numbers and since it was a larger number on those who's armies numbered no where near that amount if you combine them all together it still leaves a number that were civilians, a fly over with B-52s dropping leaflets of warnings to move to the safe zones 7 days prior to the event with our personnel carriers helping them to escape the area and then a big bomb dropped to shorten the war and casualties by many lives and the cost of rehabilitation of the PTSD that they called "shell shock" and denied it was real and sadly still do, then turn and accuse me of being a severe case study because I chose isolation over staying in the rat race for the money that I might have made. I don't understand why they don't understand, that I have a twisted view of money, and feel like I've had my share and now chose to let others have the more I didn't need. I eat well the roof don't leak and the company I keep barks too loud or brays while I'm trying to nap in my hammock, oooooh life is so tough, I said sarcastically,

      God Bless You all,

      dusty

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dianna, that's my hope....a contagious, spontaneous movement towards a kinder, gentler society. It's a long road ahead but each step shortens it.

      Thank you my dear friend; have a great weekend!

      bill

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      I am thankful for all the positive influences I have had in my past life and those who are still present. I think that helping others along the way will make a great difference in the people around you -- you never know how much an influence you can be on someone. It only takes one to make a difference. Loved your thoughts on this and thanks for sharing from your experience. You goodness is contagious.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Forbcrin, very wise words. There are no guarantees, although most people live life like they hold a ticket worth a bonus forty years. I like your words...thank you Sir!

    • forbcrin profile image

      Crin Forbes 5 years ago from Michigan

      You reminded me of some lines I read in a book:

      "People should spend last day of life repenting for sins they had committed" . "But how would anyone know the day will die to repent?"

      "Very easy, every one should treat every day as the last day of life and repent. If they don't die tomorrow, they will do the same thing, and in the end when they will die, they accomplished the task..."

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dust, that was a very fulfilling comment and I mean that sincerely. You do more for people in a year than most people do in a lifetime, and you are right, that's the way all people should be. My Bev and I are the same way. We will probably never have a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out, but we don't much care. We treat people with respect, help all that we can, and go to sleep feeling pretty damn good about the day.

      I don't handle hypocrisy at all, and for the most part I don't trust people. I want to....I want to believe people aren't two-faced, and my close friends would never be, but for the most part a person's agenda tends to get in the way of their humanity more often than not.

      My dad was a WWII vet....five campaigns in Italy.....I did not serve in Vietnam because my dad died and they wouldn't take me, being the sole-surviving son. I will tell you thank you, though, and shake your hand over the internet, for serving this country. I'm a bit of an oddball...I did not approve of Vietnam, but I approved of our soldiers. Soldiers do not choose where they are sent....and I could have gotten behind the war 100% if I thought our government was behind the war 100%.

      I was homeless for a time; alcohol kicked my ass and if I were to start again it would kick my ass once more. I've been sober now six years and they have been the best six years of my life. I have a lot still left to do; a lot of windmills I need to topple over before I am through, and I aim to tilt as many as possible. It's just the way I am....I can't keep my mouth shut when I see little kids abused....and I sure can't keep my mouth shut when I see greed hurting other hard-working folk. Must have been raised pretty well by some loving parents.

      I guess that's if for this night. Take care my friend and as for this weekend....live it to the fullest.

      bill

    • 50 Caliber profile image

      50 Caliber 5 years ago from Arizona

      BillyBuc, Reading your comments as I saw you around sparked my click to see your work delivered to my mail, I normally take the RSS Feed route and select what I read as I start the day.

      Today was a fluke as I rarely get up put on my leg get dressed start the coffee go out and feed my farm animal zoo and drink a cup of coffee and then call it quits and go to the recliner and let the dogs pile on and just say screw it and go back to sleep.

      Today was one of those days, the first this year best I remember not sure I did it at all last year. I generally start my day with coffee catch my mails and move on to replies or leave them for later and read a few hubs and for a guy like me poetry is an odd thing but it seems to grow on me each day.

      My contact with others is seldom face to face but on the computer most everyday. I even figured how to put a dish on my 4x4 trailer that takes me off into the woods of states to hunt in the fall and fill the freezers for eats and treats for me and my dogs through out the year and donate a few to the "Hunters for the Hungry" and some directly to the doors of those I know need help and smiles and tales of the wiley critter that is about to meet their freezer and how it put up a gallant challenge, is mostly bullony, but makes the kids smile.

      I drop a list of recipes and the meat is packed for freezer storage and the thermometer I give is to insure the tenderness if not over cooked. Packs of jerky, even pepperoni for home made pizza and recipes for the dough and crust as well as turning cans of tomato sauce from the bent and dent store into quarts of pizza or spaghetti sauce for 1 buck a quart, and just alot of things I know, to eat well on the cheap. I'll even come and cook with them to show them the way if they like. I enjoy that contact and bringing the old ways back to town.

      I don't look like a feller most would want to talk with as I dress at Salvation Army and other thrift stores and wear my hair at 28 inches long and my beard is wild, I do wear a regular stetson not my panners hat in the avatar. I still smile and greet folks I meet on the side walk and in the stores as I gather a few months of supplies and retreat back to the Rockies where I belong meandering my days away as I see fit.

      I do like people but choose the ones and how close they get to me as I keep my gate locked but if a stranger appears and is in need I will come see and if I can help I will. No phone to loan, no wires or signal in the place I've tagged home.

      I reckon that's all I got, seems to me the 5 steps or maybe they are Laws The first is Acceptance, followed by Cooperation, then Understanding and Enthusiasm. Spiritual laws, are those which guide and direct our loving. Spiritually, we're not punished for our sins or short comings, I think we are punished by them. That is if we have a loving nature, we get derailed and then we tend to experience imbalance and "dis-ease." Th fifth law, empathy, I'm not sure I totally understand that one, I'm possibly involved with it and just don't know it. To fail to forgive is to be unforgiven, at least that's my thoughts on it. I went to hell for a few years and when I got back I was treated like I'd expect Satan himself to be treated. I'm done with it to an extent, but when it comes up folks the age of flower children of the 60s and 70s who threw things at some of us coming back, shouted derogatory remarks and I heard of folks getting spit on, a culmination of things, a potential employer looked me in the face and told me there was "no place for baby killers" in his department when I'd been sent there by a special desk set up with a man with no legs working to get veterans a job at the unemployment office in Santa Ana, I drove back and told him what had happened and he called back and the guy said he'd not seen me. Turned out 1 company 4 departments and I'd been sent to the wrong one and I went back and they guy that hired me was a cool cat and we became friends, he treated me right, even on the days I showed up hung over still belching foam off the beer I had 6 hours earlier, he'd cut me slack and give me an easy road for the day and invite me home to dinner that night to keep me busy and out of the bars, I had a Harley that I rode every were rain or shine it's all I had, I'd show up on rainy days and take a bag with dry clothes in it to the bathroom and change for work and then change back to go home. He had an old VW bus, he said if I could afford to insure it I was free to use it, a good man.

      I think that we all should treat others the way we want to be treated, life would be grande for many who have a hard row to hoe a little help goes a long way.

      I wish those who went with the crowd to be cool back when would pass me by and not thank me for my service but apologize for their actions, that would be cool, 'cuz I don't get how they can do that thanking stuff with a clear conscience, and if they don't regret it, I don't care, I'd rather they say so than lie to me, ya know?

      Peace and Blessings,

      have the week end of your life,

      dust

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Amy, that is one of my all-time favorite movies, for the very reasons you pointed out. We all make a difference; it's up to us what that difference will be. I will keep paying it forward, as I know you will, and we'll see what kind of difference we can make in this crazy, mixed-up world.

      Thank you my dear; have a wonderful weekend!

    • Amy Becherer profile image

      Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      One of my favorite, albeit "corny" movies is "It's a Wonderful Life". The concept of dying and seeing how one life changed so many is phenomenal. The lead character, Jimmy Stewart, got a chance to see what we never do in real life, the full scope of chain events and impact of one good deed. It can be far reaching and life altering. So, really, Bill, you have no idea how many people went on to pay it forward out of the estimated 8,000 you positively affected. It is mind-boggling. Unfortunately, the same goes for negative impact when we choose to project a "less than stellar" attitude. Each person has power. Each person has a choice on how to impact the world. I know you choose positive. So do I.

      I love your inspirational, motivational piece, Bill. Change begins with one person and one idea.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Yvonne, I firmly believe that! Love is the most powerful thing in the world, and it is never too late to utilize it for change in this world. Thank you my friend and have a marvelous weekend.

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      Yvonne Spence 5 years ago from UK

      This is an interesting look at your life. I truly can't imagine how many people I've had a positive or negative impact on. I sort of think that even in your dark days there were probably some light times.

      I very much agree with you that kindness spreads kindness. Once, when my older daughter was about 6, she and I were waiting to cross the road at traffic lights. I looked down at her and felt a huge rush of love so I hugged her. Then as I looked up again I saw a man standing nearby - he was looking at us and he was beaming. That stuck in my mind, just how powerful love is. I have never seen that man again, but he influenced me in a positive way, and I guess we also did him.

      That day really showed me that we can never know how a small act of love can spread so far.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      TT, I feel better knowing that....kind of. :)

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      Terrye Toombs 5 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      LOL! I didn't even think of that....TT... :) I lost my sanity a long time ago, that's how I manage. :) It's a pleasure, big bro, and you know how I feel about you. :) I probably wouldn't push you off a cliff....probably. :)

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      TT....trumpeter of transformation....TT....get it? LOL Why are you apologizing? You have your plate full at home and I don't know how you handle it all and stay sane....oops, maybe you don't. :) Thanks Sis; you mean the world to me.

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      Terrye Toombs 5 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      Bill, I apologize for being your absent sycophant. I would tend to agree with you in that the positive or negative vibes and emotions we give off directly affect those around us. Great hub and as usual, a great and positive message. :) You are the trumpeter of transformation. :)

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tara, my dear, never forget that you have value as a human being. I know it's been hard but brighter days are ahead....how do I know that? Because I know in my heart that you are a good human being. Believe that and keep moving forward.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Wesman, go Jedi all you want my friend.....the word and action do....that says it all. Good intentions are meaningless in my book....I want to be around people who walk the talk, or at least try to. You and I would get along fantastically in person. I want someone around me who feels, who gets pissed and acts on it. I don't want sheeples around me...they just piss me off. :)

      Thanks buddy!

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rema, what a wonderful comment. I do not think you are blowing your own trumpet at all. This was an honest appraisal of who you are as a human being. Awareness is a wonderful thing and your comment reflects the awareness you have. Thank you for a great addition to the discussion. Peace and happiness to you always.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Julie, we all have those times when we don't think about kindness. We get so wrapped up in the business of living that we simply forget that which should come naturally. I just need to keep reminding myself.

      Thank you my friend and have a great weekend.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, thank you for your kind words. I have a lot of debris from my past life, but I can't look at that any longer....I need to make my remaining years count on the positive side of the ledger. You are a good person, Ruby, and I appreciate you.

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      Tara Carbery 5 years ago from Cheshire, UK

      Bill, what a beautiful and inspirational hub. In the short time I have known you, you have helped me more than you could ever imagine and you WILL achieve your goal. Every time I read your words, you make me want to be a better person. I've caused so much damage because of my drinking. I can't change that but I can help others and make a positive impression on their lives. Thank you for sharing such honesty and positivity. It's never too late to make a difference.

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      Wesman Todd Shaw 5 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      Late last night on Facebook someone hit me with the old "the human race is nothing but a cancer...." thing.

      I totally disagree with the way that was stated.

      Yes, we can NOT go on as we are doing now - we're all going to die anyway, but humanity itself will die if we continue as we are.

      The human race is not the problem - the problem is the values of the most influential humans. What do we see should we be so foolish as to watch the television? We see the EXACT values that are, in fact, a cancer.

      On some level or another....these can be called "memes," or viral little notions that are very destructive to minds, society at large, and the community of any and all that consume such mind rot.

      I told the person in question "you are not a cancer, we are not a cancer - but we have to choose whether or not to be one."

      Yeah, I'm sure I'm plenty toxic...but I am at least trying as hard as I know how to NOT be.....which means NOTHING. Try...try not...do.

      ~I just went Jedi~

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      Rema T V 5 years ago from Chennai, India

      Hi Bill,

      I am happy that I can relate to your message to a certain extent. I am a very positive person always encouraging my family and friends and never afraid of difficult situations. Of course I have had my troubled times but I have fought them all-especially my rheumatoid arthritis- and am active once again now.

      My friends tell me that my positive influence has benefited them and I feel happy that I am able to do my wee bit for the society. I have never forgotten the people who have helped me in my life and I still think of them and thank them even though I am not in touch with them.

      I admit that I am nowhere near perfect but all I know is that I have to smile at people even if they don't love me and I should lend a helping hand to anyone in trouble if it is within my capacity. Hope you don't get the feeling that I'm blowing my own trumpet, just that I thought I would speak my heart out.

      Thanks for this wonderful hub as always. Your message emphasizes that I should strive to do more for the people around me. Thanks for the inspiration. You are a very good human being. Wish the world was full of people like you. Sharing it as always. Cheers, Rema.

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      Jools99 5 years ago from North-East UK

      Bill, this is a very interesting and truly thought provoking hub and it really got me thinking about how many people I have met during my life. You are right of course that we should do all we can to have a positive effect when we can but it's sometimes something we just don't think about first! And there's the rub - kindness should be the first think we think about - it costs nothing and I don't know and it makes giver and recipient feel good :o)

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      Ruby Jean Fuller 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

      This is a really GREAT write Bill. I have had some really good friends throughout my life, some have let me down, i'm sure i have let them down also. I think as we mature we realize the need to leave good will in all we do, at least i try to do that.. You are such a good writer. I love reading your thoughts..Cheers

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, this seems to be the reason for me writing.....I have a message that needs to come out of me....this is now my calling in life, now that the teaching days are done. I just hope I make some difference to make this world a better place. Thank you my friend and have a wonderful weekend.

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      Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

      I believe I have been carrying the torches all along.,...I too believe in paying it forward...don't know if its my Catholic teachings, the wonderful love and compassion of my parents, my nature, or all things combined but I have always tried to think of the other person first.

      Life is too short not to treat other well...kindess and compassion come easily and should never be ignored.

      As always Bill, a hub to make people think about the goodness they have and can share with others.

      Voted up, awesome, and interesting.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Wayne, that you sir and what a great reflection to add to this hub! We make a tremendous difference each and every day and we normally don't realize it. I, too, was awakened by a moment of reflection about my life; hopefully I will hold onto this lesson for awhile.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Graham, here is the torch my friend. Thanks for walking alongside of me.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      B......thank you my friend! I feel good knowing who the people are who are joining me. We will make an impact and that will spread....and that makes me happy.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Gypsy, how can we go wrong with people like you to pass the torch. We will begin this revolution and who know where it will take us. Thank you for a wonderful comment; you are appreciated.

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      Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas

      You piece gave me inspiration to think about the course of my life. I was blessed with lots of friends throughout life, especially in my early years. I was able to interact with a broad cross-section of people in some unique and diverse environments. As I thought back over your writing, I had an epiphany, as I think I learned more from them than they from me. Over time I have reflected on various people who crossed through my life, saw their mistakes, then returned at some point to consider them....it almost always altered my direction in life thus somewhere down stream, my new direction had some effect on someone else. I say all that to say that where are sit today looks far different that where I sat at eighteen and how I look at life as a result has changed drastically. Writing, though it started later in life, has given me the feedback in far more instances than anything that I have done prior in telling me how I can affect the lives and thoughts of others. I also feel a greater responsibility in that regard as a result. A moment of our life, a phrase, a collection of thoughts shared with someone else that either causes them to reconsider or comes back to them somewhere down the road does have a positive effect. One person can make a difference one life at a time. Thanks for reawakening those thoughts once again. UP+ ~WB

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      Graham Lee 5 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Just hand me the torch Bill I'll join you on the road. Another first class hub and as thought provoking as usual..

      Graham..

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      Brian Leekley 5 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      I'm in and spreading the message. To become the me I wish I were and the sort of man I admire is what a lifetime of growing up is about, and at 70 I still have a lot of growing up to do. Billybuc, your hub about a kindness revolution and the torches of kindness, compassion and empathy is an inspiration. Up, Useful, Awesome, Interesting, and shared.

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      Gypsy Rose Lee 5 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Voted up and awesome. Great and inspirational hub. Goodness I too must have quite a lot of people whom I have influenced in one way or another. When mom and I lived in N.Y. we had a lot of retired Latvian people living in mom's apartment building and I remember helping them out in one way or another. Going for groceries, driving somewhere and so on. I've always been part of two social scenes - American and Latvian. So I can't even imagine how many people have already passed through my life. I'm willing to help pass along those torches you mentioned. We both have lots more time on this earth to do good for others. Let's pass the love on. Hope you have a great weekend. Passing this on.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Relationship, there is always someone who can push just the right buttons and make us lose it...that is just human nature and none of us are perfect. That being said, I love that you will take a torch and try to spread a positive vibe....every single person makes a difference.

      Thank you my friend.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rdsparrowriter, thank you! Greatly appreciated!

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mel, thank you so much! I feel strong knowing that people like you are walking alongside of me. Have a wonderful weekend.

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      Melanie Chisnall 5 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      I will join you Bill! As a huge karma believer, I agree with your statement - "One act of kindness creates other acts of kindness" - this is very true. I am going to try harder to see where I can get involved and leave behind a good legacy. The power of one person is indeed huge! It was interesting to read about the different stages in your life and how it affected you and made you who you are today. Great article! :)

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      rdsparrowriter 5 years ago

      Very inspiring :)

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      Kari 5 years ago from Alberta, Canada

      I will gladly take those torches and do my best.

      A short story: As far as I can remember, I have only been intentionally rude to one person in the last several years. She pushed my last button and I yelled "All you do is spread hate in the world, no love, just hate. How can you live with yourself?," plus a few other choice words. Looking back on it, I obviously contributed negatively to her life at that point. Everyone wants love and peace, and I gave her an earful of hate and anger.

      I don't want to contribute negatively to anyone's life, and like you said I have thousands upon thousands of people that I will still have a positive or negative influence on - I plan to make it good!

      Very interesting to read more about you Billy.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rachel, it make great sense, for I have been told that I don't portray my positive image. I have an edge to me, almost cynical at times, and I fight it daily. Thank you for your honesty; through you I now have to look at myself.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Made, I am very sorry dear lady. It is always so hard to lose a pet. Be well and thank you so much for your words. They mean a lot to me, as do you.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sue, that was incredibly sweet. Thank you my dear friend; I will gladly walk by your side.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You are never out of action, Martin; your words carry power. Thank you my friend!

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Yes one can, Spy! Thank you!

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      IAmForbidden 5 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      One can really make a difference.

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      Martin Kloess 5 years ago from San Francisco

      You are preaching to the choir, my good friend. tough I, personally, have been out of action for 2 years, there is no other Martin in Bay Area freemasonry

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      Sueswan 5 years ago

      Hi Bill,

      I believe there are angels walking on earth and you are one of them. Kindness is contagious. I join you in carrying the torch.

      Voted up and away!

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      Madeleine Salin 5 years ago from Finland

      Unfortunately there's just seven now. One of our five kittens died last night. The kittens are just five weeks old and one of them stopped growing some days ago and he left us some hours ago. This is a sad morning and I had a night with hardly no sleep. It's now 6.30 am and we are preparing for day care, pre-school. school and work.

      Bill, thank you for being who you are. I would never underestimate your power. You inspire so many hubbers to keep on hubbing.

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      Rachel Koski 5 years ago from Minnesota

      Hi Bill. I haven't commented on all the Hubs of yours that I've read, and should probably try to, but this one was really touching and kind of harrowing in a way. It made me think about projecting a more consistently positive attitude. I tend to think of myself as a realist, but I also know that this sometimes translates to "pessimist" for some people that I interact with. Reading your hub has me thinking about working on being more obviously positive, rather than leaving people to guess. Hope that makes sense! Thanks for writing it. Voted up etc., and shared.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, it takes what it takes. I had to do some suffering before I finally found the right path. Pain was a great motivator for me, and thankfully I no longer have to suffer to learn. That is definitely progress!

      Peace and happiness to you today and always,

      bill

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rosemay, thank you! I just try to live a positive life and be a positive force to people who are in contact with me. I am very much appreciative.

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      Rosemary Sadler 5 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      Billy this is one of the most inspiring hubs I have read and you are one of the most positive people I have had the pleasure to call friend.

      I am far from perfect but I hope that I have left more positive impression than negative ones.

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      Faith Reaper 5 years ago from southern USA

      Congratulations on overcoming your addiction to where you are now able to be a productive person in society and contribute and make this world a better place. Most of us just have a choice to make with our thinking, are we going to be encouragers and positive or the opposite. The tongue is small but it can bring either life or death, it is our choice. I am so glad you are in recovery and realize life is much better now without that bottle!!! God bless you. Each and every one of us can choose to love others, but we must first be able to love ourselves before we can even love another. We must forgive ourselves, as we are human and make mistakes all the time, but then we can move on and love others while we are still on this Earth. From out of the heart, the mouth speaks. You can tell a lot about a person from what is coming out of their mouth. It is one thing to be "positive" and another to actually put that love into action, i.e., serving the homeless or downtrodden, giving them a little hope and food and water, etc. In His Love, Faith Reaper

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pickles, you and I both know, the past only serves as a reminder; the present is all I'm worried about now and I do what I can to make it count each and every day. Thank you!

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      picklesandrufus 5 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va

      A good hub to get one thinking! I definitely have affected more people positively in my latter years, than when I was young and self absorbed. I can say, no matter what affect you had on people in your earlier life, your hubs are very thoughtful and inspirational now.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I know you have, Linda! Thank you for being the person that you are.

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      Linda Bilyeu 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I've joined many, many years ago. This is my way of life. I wouldn't have it any other way. Granted some people could be a bit difficult, but we grin and bear it. So absolutely one person could move a mountain. Voted UP.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ricky...may I call you Ricky?...you are one of those people I would love to sit down with and chat as friends. You have a depth and awareness to you that makes you infinitely likable, and I am proud to call you a friend.

      Thank you! We are only as sick as our secrets, and I no longer hide. This is me; I have lived, I have made mistakes, I have climbed out the other end of the pit and now I celebrate life. I wish that for you and others, and so I write in hopes that someone else needs this and can learn.

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      Richard Ricky Hale 5 years ago from West Virginia

      Bill, love this article. Once again, it is amazing what you overcome and congrats. You deserve it. You came a long way. I can easily see why so many is incluenced by you. I believe your stats are spot on. Just like me, so many can relate to your traveled path per say. Your taking the time to write these articles and they are great!! VERY GREAT ACTUALLY! When you have walked those two shoes, you can fully and completely understand what someone feels. Your hubs are very beneficial, even after recovery Bill. I enjoy the useful information and your videos. You are the example of one person making changes. Congrats on that as well Bill. As I said before, we can all learn something from you that would make us better in life. Your poll question would be a great debate. It makes me think. As I saw what others put, I was shocked a little. I chose 0-25. I guess the question could be interpretated in many ways. Have I treated others good? Yes. Have I been positive toward them? Yes. Have I had a postive influence on them? I would like to think yes, but I am not sure. This goes back to learning from you Bill. I don't think I have made such an effort to do so. I enjoy helping others and I have helped when I could, but probably not enough. It really makes me want to do more. It really gets you to thinking. Another awesome article Bill, keep doing your thing!! Best to you.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glimmer, that is the hope and the goal, isn't it? I can't do anything about my past mistakes other than to learn and not repeat. Thank you my friend; I'm always happy to see that you have topped by for a chat.

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      Glimmer Twin Fan 5 years ago

      They need a thought-provoking choice for your hubs Bill. I'd like to think I've had a positive affect on most of the people I've met, but I'm sadly confident that there are some that don't fall into that category. That being said, we all make mistakes and most of us learn from them, hopefull for the better.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, Made, I hope that day comes before I get so darn old I can't enjoy the trip. :) Eight cats???? My goodness, girl, that's quite an animal shelter you have.

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      Madeleine Salin 5 years ago from Finland

      Bill, we still live in the garage, but we will have plenty of room in our house for hubbers visiting us. :) The garage will probably be filled with cars and motorbikes in a couple of years, and maybe a couple of sheep and a goat. You never know what to find here. We have 8 cats right now.

      I have no doubt you'll make enough money from your writing to travel around the world.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Made, I love the way you are thinking. If I ever make enough money from my writing, I am coming to Europe, and you will be visited. You have a large enough house, right? I could stay in the garage for a night or two. :)

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      Madeleine Salin 5 years ago from Finland

      Not thousands - that is way too many people, but my goal is to write something some day that reaches out to thousands. Then I'll make enough money to come visit you. Nurses are not well paid. Lol!

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Debbie, that is a great exercise, one that more people should undertake. I'm trying to clean up my side of the street so I can leave this world with no regrets. Lots of cleaning still left to do. :)

      Thank you my friend! Have a wonderful weekend!

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      Debbie Pinkston 5 years ago from Pereira, Colombia and NW Arkansas

      Bill, lovely Hub again about what really matters. I often ask my counseling clients what they would like their eulogy to be like. What do you want others to say about you when you're gone? That gives them a clear picture of what they would like their life to be about and the marks they leave on others. Then I tell them to start acting like that person they want to be. Start touching people positively, start showing compassion and empathy. What a sad thing it would be to come to the end of our life and have regrets...

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Avian....we are only as sick as our secrets....words I try to remember now. I need not hide from my past; I only need to improve upon it to show growth as a human being.

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      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      An honest and candid piece on your life, both positive and negative. It sure sounds like you are a good man, Billy. We all make mistakes, and here it to the best that is yet to be. Up and awesome.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Kim! It takes a lot of guts to show people a picture of me as a child. LOL I'm glad you enjoyed my ramblings; thank you for being so loyal.

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Keith, and I love the way you summarized it!

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Julie, you just mentioned one of my favorite movies of all time...I never get tired of that movie and the message. Thank you my friend!

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      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      Everything you said is so true. I agree with every word! I believe at every religion's core this is the true purpose. To be a good, loving and contributing member of "the pack"

      Thank you for sharing the cliff notes version of your life with us and the kid picture is just adorable. ^_^ wonderful hub as usual and voted in all the good ways!

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      KDuBarry03 5 years ago

      Being one person among many is just another fact of life. Being one person for many is an accomplishment anyone can do. We all have met so many people throughout our years and every path of life we cross affects and changes our way of life (even if by a little).

      Great hub and very thought provoking, Bill!

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      Blurter of Indiscretions 5 years ago from Clinton CT

      This is the reason I love movies like It's a Wonderful Life. Little choices, small words, all the actions we take- it affects others, and it does matter...even when we think it does not. Nice work Bill!

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      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tobusiness, knowing your through this site, it does not surprise me at all that you understand this hub! Thank you, and I believe strongly in karma as well.