Every morning I scan a list in my Twitter account titled Blog(gers). This list is dedicated to people who write good blogs that I enjoy reading. This morning one particular tweet stood out and really got under my skin.

Tweet from @forbes




My initial thoughts were, “Really, out of 7.2 billion people, there is a list of people who matter most, implying some people on this planet matter less?”

So of course I clicked on the link. I wanted to know who these people were.

The headline changed, it now reads, “There are 7.2 billion people on the planet. These are 72 that Matter.” I’m sorry, don’t all 7.2 billion matter?  In this world of mass shootings, bullying, political popularity contests and on and on and on, this Jr. High mindset that some people have more value over another is ridiculous.

This was my initial reaction.

Forbes PageAs  I read further, I discovered that the headline is quite misleading. This is not about how valuable a person is, or who is more valuable, it’s about people with power. I presume that the writers at Forbes did not want another “The Worlds Most Powerful Leaders” headline. Which brings up another pet peeve, misleading headlines. I digress.

First of all, there is not one human being more valuable than another. Regardless of race, color, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, we all have value. If we have a crime record, sit at home watching porn or playing video games, are lifetime food stamp recipient…we all have value. Regardless if we lead a nation or are homeless, we all have value. But sometimes we all need that one person to help us realize the value we have and help us see that value for ourselves.

The 13 Most Influential People of 2014 and Beyond

  1. Doctors. Our health is critical to day in and day out happiness. If we are in pain or our bodies just don’t work right, it is hard to function in other areas of our lives. Many of us can think of the Doctor who we trust with the most private information, and helps us to live healthy lives so we can focus on what brings us happiness.
  2. Community Believers. A year ago this person may not have ended up on my list. But  a year ago I joined a group called #tmfit from an open invite from a guy named Alex Lawrence. It was an open challenge to get our bodies fit again. The caveat, be ready for candid accountability. I participated and reaped the benefits from it, as did dozens others. Throughout the year I have seen Alex believe in his communities. One of his communities is the start up community. He has been a mentor and community organizer / believer for start up companies in Northern Utah and I am pretty sure hundreds of families, if not thousands owe a great deal of gratitude to this guy through realized dreams of entrepreneurship.
  3. First Responders. Today I think of 9/11 and many instances where mass shootings have occurred. First responders are running to, where others are running from. Thanks to these courageous men and women lives are spared, hearts are filled with gratitude to live just one more day, and communities continue to be strong.
  4. The popular kid at school who treated everyone the same. If you were popular, this may not apply to you. But if you were not, you know that the coolest kid at school was the popular one, who was oblivious to their popularity and treated everyone with dignity respect, and always like a friend.  This is the kind of person that makes life tolerable for those who get bullied.
  5. Coaches. I remember one day in High School I got into a fight during swim practice. My coach must have known something else was happening. The others kids parents were pretty upset at his cut open eye and demanded that I be punished more severely, despite the equal effort by both of us. So coach took me aside and sat me out for one meet. Not a big deal really. Actually, it was a reward and the coach knew it. He was open and transparent with me.  That may seem like it was not much, but to me, it said volumes about how he respected me. From that day on, I listened to everything he had to say, and admired him as a coach. Today, I coach because of him.
  6. Random kind people. This is so cliche, but random acts of kindness make this world awesome. We all have crappy days, and when some stranger does something kind, we are influenced, impacted, and our lives are made better because of it. The collective of simple random acts of kindness rule the world more than any other power I can think of.
  7. Ecclesiastical Leaders. For those with religious beliefs, an ecclesiastical leader can be a source of great spiritual guidance. This person will help save marriages, provide resources for combating addictions, and teach people how to find purpose and meaning to their lives.
  8. Grandma and Grandpa. Nobody can make you feel more loved than a Grandma or Grandpa. When your parents are being too strict, Grandma and Grandpa will listen. When just need someone to tell you the right thing, Grandma and Grandpa are who you turn to. When you need to learn some of life’s basic skills with a patient person, go to Grandma and Grandpa. Thank you Grandma and Grandpa. I love you.
  9. Friends. Specifically those who loved you when you were being an ass. There are countless times when we just are not ourselves, act erratic or are just plain idiots. The friends who stick with us when we are at our worst, are those who we cherish the most when we are at our best. Be that friend.
  10. School Teachers. Next to parents and friends, school teachers have the biggest opportunity to influence a persons life. Every person that has ever had the luxury of an elementary school education can remember at least one teacher who continues to influence their lives.  One of the best moments of this past year, was the day before school started. I went to the school to see the posting of the class list. My kids attend a school where my aunt teaches. Hearing kids scream in delight because they got Mrs. Badham is telling of the legacy she, and thousands of other teachers have, and will leave behind.
  11. Parents. Not very useful during teenage years, almost enemies. At least that’s how we see them. But in reality, during our teenage years, they are the ones who keep us alive. As adults, they are our most treasured source of advice. Parents have the opportunity to influence our lives well past their own lives. If you have children, be a parent.
  12. Children. Nothing says you are more valuable, than the hug and kiss from one of your children. My daily highlights are coming home from work and being greeted by my children. Children motivate you to be a good honorable person, or at least they should. They are honest about what is going on around them. If you listen to them, and observe how they behave around you, it easy to learn where you are deficient as a person and a parent.
  13. Spouse or Significant Other.  Every day I look at my wife and I am so grateful for her. I won’t try to express the impact she has on me every single day, it would only minimize who she is and what she does. But in summary, she is everything. Without her my life would be completely empty. Everyone should have a spouse that drives them to become their best in every aspect of life.

The best part of this list is that of the 7.2 Billion people on this earth, we all can be on this list. Nobody will put you on it. This isn’t like little league soccer where everyone gets a juice box. We have to put ourselves on the list by what we do. Decide now, to end up this list.