Consider this – driving under the influence of alcohol is dangerous not only to the self but also to others on the road.
The keyword here is not driving, not alcohol, but as you might have guessed it is influence.
If you have observed carefully you would have noticed that when we react to situations we are *influenced* to react in a particular way. Influence is a major factor in our lives.
Parents influence us – in matters of culture and religion. Teachers influence us in the way we talk and understand things. Media channels (TV, nespaper/journals, social network) influence us in the way we react to politics and events happening in the society. Ads influence our dressing and makeup. We are influenced to take sides and to make choices. All our thoughts, ideas and tastes are the result of influence from someone by way of example, speech, writing or gossip.
We are encouraged from the very beginning to be in ‘good company’ and avoid ‘bad’ influence. By this we acknowledge the power of influence, but that encouragement is itself a product of influence. Bummer!
Influence is very subtle unlike propaganda but both achieve the objective – to force another to think like me. We think we are free to think anything, but influence in any form prevents free unbiassed thinking.
Influential people are a danger to the society. And the people like you and me who act under their influence are a danger not only to ourself but also to others who come into contact with us.