I just had a row with my mother over a useless bit of plastic ! I had received some flour in a plastic bag and had kept the bag where other plastic bags are kept. She found it and cleaned it up for further reuse.
I had planned on using it as a garbage liner for the non-biodegradable waste.
My relationship with my mother brings out the stark difference between my circle of concern and influence. I suspect this is with all mothers and their children. Keeping the plastic bag in a single place is within my sphere of control/influence but my mother’s actions on it are totally out of my sphere of influence.
Circle of Concern and Influence – Stephen Covey
The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey is an all time great book. He speaks of the Circles of Concern and Influence. Not of circles of control. The circle of control is truly tiny because besides yourself, you have zero control on anyone else.
In the example above with my mother, I have zero control on what she does, but I have 100% control on what I think and do. The best thing would have been to either not bother about that plastic bag or I should have told her before keeping it with other bags, that I have something different in mind.
My circle of influence is what needs to be expanded constantly. Influence comes from being in a position of power (head of a state, CEO of a company, business tycoon, parents etc), having a very healthy bank balance or by being a helper.
A political example would be, the circle of influence that the nearly dead CONgress party wields even now is very impressive. They have created a well fed ecosystem by being corrupt themselves and helping many other people be corrupt :(. Its a bad example and one that upsets me no end, but you get the point.
Circle of Concern
A huge circle of concern right now is the pandemic. We have no control over the virus because we cant see it and the Government’s circle of influence worked in wave 1 (lockdowns, wearing of masks, washing hands and maintaining social distance) but in wave 2, individual states are struggling. Wave 2 seems more infectious too.
Basically, we need to re-centre ourselves and focus on our circle of control and influence. Every one of us can wear the mask, wash our hands regularly and maintain social distance. Every one of us can ensure that we eat healthy and maintain an exercise regimen to improve our immunity. We can expand our circle of influence by urging our colleagues, family and friends to stay safe.
Circle of Concern – Earth Day
Mother Earth should always be in our Circle of concern. We need to keep this Earth green and non-polluted, so that future generations might live well.
The theme for this year’s Earth Day is “Restore Our Earth”.
Wave 1 of the pandemic told us how to restore our Earth – human beings need to stop messing around. Consume less, use bio-degradable products, live sustainably. The Earth will restore itself. It just needs us to get out of its way !!
Visit the website – Earthday.Org
A very old blog of mine about the Earth Hour – Earth hour at Masinagudi