In Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, he writes about two circles which contain our lives, the Circle of Concern and the Circle of Influence.
Circle of Concern — encompassing all the things we care about; ranges from our personal concerns (health, career, relationships, etc.) to our global concerns (global warming, war, recession, etc.)
Circle of Influence — includes the things we have the power to affect; this circle is smaller than the Circle of Concern
A problem with this is that we have the tendency to underestimate our capacity to influence life, effectively placing things in our Circle of Concern rather than in our Circle of Influence. For instance, because we can’t (most likely) solve global warming individually, we may abdicate the power we do may say, “That’s too big of a problem. I’m just one person. I can’t change it.” The truth, however, is that we can take action that does affect global warming, even if it doesn’t eliminate it. It is important to take notice of where we are unconsciously giving up our power to affect change by lumping issues into that place “out there”.
There is an African proverb that tells us that if you think you are too small to make a difference you have not spent a night in a confined area with a mosquito.
A Social Workers Wild Garden is a garden tended by a veteran teacher who believes she can make a difference as a social worker. This page is a repository for related material and posts.