I looked down at my crossed arms a few days ago, and noticed that my left arm is a tad darker than my right. “Driver’s tan,” I thought to myself. It made me think about influence.
I didn’t set out to get a tan. I didn’t even notice it was happening until I sat still long enough to compare one arm to another. But quietly, simply through the time I spend driving my car to my day-to-day activities, the sun’s influence worked its magic.
Sometimes, small, everyday things have more influence than we realize. The attitudes of people at work, the values of our favorite TV shows, the music we listen to, the inner monologue running in our minds, the tone of our voice as we speak to our family, the character of the people with whom we spend our time, the things that make us laugh, the things that make us snarky… they are subtle things, and they fly beneath our radar because they are part of the normal landscape of our life.
But before you know it, you’ve got a tan going on.
Of course, this isn’t necessary a negative thing. For example, running has become a part of my normal landscape. I didn’t notice my “tan” until I missed two weeks and was still able to run 5 miles in less than an hour. When did that happen?
It also made me think about the “driver’s tan” I may be giving to others. Influence doesn’t have to be loud or dramatic. Sometimes, it’s just being faithful. The sun shines every day (even if there are days when it’s hidden behind the clouds). So don’t worry if you feel like your efforts aren’t being seen. They’re working.
What’s flying beneath your radar? Do you ever sit still long enough to check out your tan? How are your rays impacting the arms of others?
Don’t underestimate the power of the everyday.