Navy Seal Admiral William H. McRaven offers an intriguing formula.
A few months ago Admiral McRaven was the keynote speaker at the University of Texas at Austin 2014 Commencement ceremony. He used 10 everyday images (a song, a bell, … a shark!) to convey 10 mini-lessons for living a life of meaning and significance.
The Commencement audience of 8,000 found out rather quickly that the Admiral’s speech was intended for more than the new graduates.
He asked everyone present to consider their collective impact on the world.
Did they know that they possessed the power to touch nearly 800 million people over the next 125 years?
The Admiral used his own math formula, which was something like this:
Total # of people present TIMES # of people reached (20) TIMES five generations (grandparents, current, plus the next three = 125 years) TIMES 10 (factoring in 10 more lifetime interactions from everyone in the original total).
The combined world influence and reach by just Holland’s teachers alone for the upcoming school year exceeds 7.8 MILLION persons.
Now my math may be off by a person or two – as Cindy refused to participate and put me on a three day spousal “do not call” list – but see for yourself.
250 teachers TIMES 25 students each TIMES 125 (the five generations) TIMES 10 = 7,812,500
Whether this is the big data version of the butterfly effect or the proverbial tossed pebble causing ripples in the pond, I can’t say.
Just doing the Admiral’s math wore me out.
But it sure shows the magnitude of the impact each one of our school districts makes.
And this doesn’t even include your own professional contribution.
When it’s factored in, the projections are bumped up considerably.
Even for me.
I carefully calculated the personal impact of my long career in school communications and the irrefutable result allows me to add in another six people.
This now pushes Holland’s total to 7,812, 506.
I know this is an unaudited figure, but I was still happy to do my part.