I have a habit (a good one for a change) of taking a little walk at lunchtime. I've been frustrated the last few weeks because I've been forced to do other things at lunch, like eat, because I had a problem with my foot, but it's pretty much better now and I'm relieved I can take walks again. I not only love getting out into the fresh air and sunshine (I also like getting out into the clouds and the rain, but then, I'm a fresh air fanatic), I also enjoy the light exercise of a short walk. I take long walks, too, when I can, but of course not at work, where we only have a half-hour lunch.
At my previous job I had an hour lunch, and almost every day I would take at least a thirty minute walk around the long block we were on. It was in a pretty quiet industrial area with lots of trees and I usually had the wide sidewalks to myself. I really enjoyed that walk. I didn't know when I started my current job if there would be anything similar for walking, but I soon discovered a street around the corner that I found was actually a cul-de-sac. It also has lots of trees and well maintained foliage (in fact, I often see the landscapers doing their thing) and almost brand new industrial/office buildings, but in this case they are spaced far apart and set well back from the street. There is quite a steep hill to climb to get to the top before you turn around to come back, but once you get used to it, it's not that bad. I took to calling my daily adventure "walking the loop".
So, one day recently, I met a co-worker, Mike, crossing the parking lot to get into his car and make a run to McDonalds. He saw me coming back up the drive and asked what I was doing. I told him I'd just "walked the loop", so we started talking and he said maybe he'd try it some time. Yeah, right, I thought. People are always saying things like that. Plus, Mike is a rather large fellow, and while I wouldn't call him obese, he is heavy.
So, yesterday, as I came back from my walk, who did I see starting down the drive? Mike! We passed and he said he was going to "walk the loop". "I'm learning from the master," he told me.
We sometimes think we don't have any real effect on other people, or that our off-hand comments or actions won't influence anyone else, but obviously that notion is wrong. You have opportunities all day long to do so, so when you can, use that small power in a positive way. Make someone smile, give them hope, tell them a secret you have of improving your life in tiny ways. Who knows, they might just really be listening. This goes for talking about liberty, too. Mention Ron Paul and End the Fed when the economy and the Federal Reserve's actions enter the discussion, or just slip in a pro-freedom comment now and then. You don't want to be pushing your ideas at work like you're some kind of fanatic (that turns people off, anyway), but you can plant little pro-liberty seeds from time to time when you have the chance.
Which brings me to blogging, where you do have the freedom to look like an obsessed nut. We had such a nut here recently, our former contributor Bret "Ginx" Alan, who acknowledged his obsession with attacking anarchism and anarchists. It was sad, really, but YOU don't have to fall into that same trap. You can instead be reasonable and well-balanced like me. I have often wondered if blogging is anything but a hobby and a therapeutic outlet, but you never know who you may reach, or what life you may change, with even one little post that you send out into the blogosphere and the wider Internet.
So, happy and influential blogging (and walking) to you all!