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  • Writer's pictureKristin Woodward

what is your reach?

Diverse People Friendship Togetherness Connection Rear View Conc

it’s been a crazy couple weeks with work and i have pretty much let everything else go: no writing, no workouts, stress eating, a sink full of dishes and a personal to-do list a mile long. i’m so grossed out by my own self! so this morning, i vowed to get back on track. the very minimum i can do is write a response to The Daily Post, right? i usually hate their prompts and today is no exception, but after i got over hating for a minute, this one actually got me thinking.

reach. it’s something i talk about a lot in my work life as an advertising professional. helping clients extend their reach and maximize the number of eyeballs they can hit with their message is as important as actually creating that perfect message.

but what about your reach? not as a blogger or in terms of your personal brand, but in terms of you as a person? how many people’s lives do you touch and impact on a daily, weekly or yearly basis? probably a lot more than you know. 

a couple weekends ago, when tackled my epic filing project, i found a lot of forgotten items: Miss Girl’s Pre-K artwork, letters from school, bonus statements from 2 jobs ago, things that gave me a momentary awww or conversely a why the heck did i think i needed to save that? but i also found several notes from former co-workers wishing me well as i went on to a new adventure (or they did) and thanking me for the impact i’d had on their lives and careers. and it reminded me of all the other notes like that i’ve received over the years. and it totally humbled me to realize and remember that the things i do and how i treat people just in the course of getting a job done are even noticed, much less matter so much.

yesterday, my mom told me a story about my uncle, who i haven’t seen in years and whom neither of us is very close with. he is in his 70s and in a wheelchair after having a foot amputated a few years ago due to diabetes. and he apparently is the epitome of a cranky old man. my mom learned that her brother had recently had the cops called on him for yelling, threatening and beating on the car of a woman who he thought got too close to him as he was wheeling across the street at an intersection. turns out, this isn’t the first time something like that has happened. turns out all the cops in the area know him because they’ve been called to numerous situations like this involving him, both in public settings and at his apartment complex. they all know him because he has terrorized so many other people in his little corner of the world. and he probably doesn’t even realize it.

do your actions have a positive or negative impact on others? how does it affect how others perceive you?

at my advanced age (lol), i’ve come to the point that i rarely give a shit what other people think about me. but i think i would be pretty horrified to learn that my actions and attitude actually made others feel hurt, scared or less in any way. i try to be friendly to everyone i encounter from the baggers at Publix to the mom with the crying baby at the restaurant. who knows whether anyone ever thinks wow, that lady wasn’t a total asshole! but conversely, i find that when someone, like the security folks at the Falcons game the other night or that lady who let me check out in front of her because i only had a couple items, is just pleasant and friendly and thoughtful, i notice and remember it and usually have restored faith in humanity for at least a few hours after. i’ll probably never see those people again, but their small actions went a long way.

so again, i’ll ask, what’s your reach? how many people get the message you’re sending out every day? and are they better or worse for it? just think about it.

now . . . off to the gym, a lunch full of veggies and productive afternoon of to-do-list knocking out. happy Saturday, everyone!

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