“I remember you was conflicted, misusing your influence…”
Kendrick says this through the course of his To Pimp A Butterfly Album. It turns out to be a prerequisite to a Kendrick – Tupac interview. I often ponder about the extents to which I am positively influential to strangers, peers and my siblings. Being the first child, I have always felt a burden of responsibility for their behaviours, whether good or bad? – Am I academically productive enough? how virtuous is my moral compass?. This is especially worse because of my unreasonable presumption that my actions or lack thereof, will inevitably affect them.
I think I am noble enough to be an upstanding older brother, but when I think of my failures, I immediately feel like I might have disappointed or demotivated them, and it scares the serenity in me, and pursues it into a swine of grumpy pigs.
But I remember how much I admire them, and that I am incredibly proud to be their older brother. I have hardly met two people more likeable, more vast in their pursuit of knowledge, with good heads on their shoulders. But as they grow older, the temptations and negations of life mock me, reminding me that no one is spared from life’s ugly advances. So, I pray and forcefully hope that they negate the snares, and rise whenever they fall.
Being a default people-pleaser, an attribute which is both self-serving and self-denying, I make an effort not to step on toes. But life is teaching me that stepping on the occasional toe, so that one can look down to see that an issue needs attention, is part of the gig. That in the course of influence, no matter how small, wisdom is the principal card in the deck.
I hope that despite my inner battles and outer conflicts, my brothers can always say “He tried, he was good to/for us, he did not misuse his influence.”
Do you ever feel like your actions or lack thereof, will have the butterfly effect? Whether we agree or not, we are all influential – positively or negatively – to someone or a number of people.