Social Question

KeithWilson's avatar

Does one man have the power to change everything?

Asked by KeithWilson (833 points ) September 24th, 2010

Maybe like a representative or something.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

106 Answers

iamthemob's avatar

Sure. Why not?

Although more often one person is really the person who gets the most credit for the work of a lot of people. Very few people who manage to do something truly successful manage to do it without the assistance, support and inspiration of others.

AmWiser's avatar

No. Absolutely not. Not ever.

KeithWilson's avatar

@amwiser why not?

KeithWilson's avatar

@both im not saying without the help of others, im just saying in general, can one man make a difference?

lillycoyote's avatar

Great! Another chance to post one of my favorite Robert F. Kennedy quotes. From his Day of Affirmation Speech:

“There is,” said an Italian philosopher, “nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.” Yet this is the measure of the task of your generation, and the road is strewn with many dangers.

First, is the danger of futility: the belief there is nothing one man or one woman can do against the enormous array of the world’s ills – against misery and ignorance, injustice and violence. Yet many of the world’s greatest movements, of thought and action, have flowed from the work of a single man. A young monk began the Protestant Reformation, a young general extended an empire from Macedonia to the borders of the earth, and a young woman reclaimed the territory of France. It was a young Italian explorer who discovered the New World, and the thirty-two-year-old Thomas Jefferson who proclaimed that all men are created equal.

”“Give me a place to stand,” said Archimedes, “and I will move the world.” These men moved the world, and so can we all. Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation. Thousands of Peace Corps volunteers are making a difference in isolated villages and city slums in dozens of countries. Thousands of unknown men and women in Europe resisted the occupation of the Nazis and many died, but all added to the ultimate strength and freedom of their countries. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.

So, one person may not be able to change everything, but one person might be able to change a lot, and enough “one persons” doing at least something might just be enough to change everything.

AmWiser's avatar

@KeithWilson I don’t think one man could make all men (mankind) think on one accord and IMO thats the only way one man could have the power to change everything. If all minds are not of one accord, I don’t see how one man could change everything.

KeithWilson's avatar

@amwiser what if there was a way for one man to speak to the whole of mankind all at the same time. not only that, but the whole of mankind would listen and obey this single person?

iamthemob's avatar

@KeithWilson

That’s not one person changing everything. That’s the sudden lack of free will.

That sounds terrible.

lillycoyote's avatar

@KeithWilson And what exactly would that one way be, to get everyone on earth to listen and obey? What if? How? Who? If someone could do it it would already have been done, I would imagine. No one is or has ever been or probably ever will be that charismatic or that powerful. Edit: I have a feeling that we all know what’s coming next here. Bye.

AmWiser's avatar

Like I stated before ‘No. Absolutely not. Not ever.’

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

One man (or woman) can have a huge effect on humanity, and change human thought forever, but no one person can ensure that every person listens to and obeys them. Hell, even our government can’t stop people committing heinous crimes. There will always be differences of opinion and action, and fortunately there is no way to unite humanity in a single cause.

Even if it were possible, I believe it would be a recipe for disaster.

KeithWilson's avatar

@all actually i got the idea from a book and it would take a while to properly spread out the backround information to make the question understandable. sorry for thinking a difficult question could be easy to understand…

iamthemob's avatar

The question is perfectly easy to understand.

But.. (gulp)…what is this book of which you speak…

KeithWilson's avatar

@iamthemob its the sword of truth series by terry goodkind

KeithWilson's avatar

i also have other reasons for asking it….

iamthemob's avatar

I’ll bite…such as?

AmWiser's avatar

@KeithWilson thanks for explaining that, your question makes better sense now.

KeithWilson's avatar

the beast from the sea and the beast from the earth in revelations….

Austinlad's avatar

I believe one man or woman has the ability to change the thinking of another man or woman… and on and on and on… and over time, that can change everything, for better or worse.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

@KeithWilson No one thinks it’s cute anymore. Get yourself help.

KeithWilson's avatar

@drasticdreamer even the help wants me to get help….

luckywong's avatar

It is often said, people will be able to overcome the heaven.
The people here is” the whole human”, not a person.
so my answer no.

KeithWilson's avatar

im not socially handicapped….

KeithWilson's avatar

could there be one representitive for the whole human race?

iamthemob's avatar

I don’t see the point of such a thing. I don’t think we’ll be of such a uniform opinion, will and action that that could take place.

KeithWilson's avatar

@iamthemob thats the whole thing! imagine if we did have uniform opinion will and subsequent action all at the same time…? wouldnt that be amazing?

KeithWilson's avatar

i dont think its too much to ask….

iamthemob's avatar

Nope. I prefer diversity. It aids creation.

The situation you describe is the kind where we’d all be, essentially, the same person.

Plus, it reminds me of Jasmine in season 4 of Angel.

KeithWilson's avatar

hmm…well. if it served a purpose it would be worth it….

iamthemob's avatar

That’s conclusory. How do you support that?

KeithWilson's avatar

which part is conclusory?

lillycoyote's avatar

@KeithWilson what “if we did have uniform opinion will and subsequent action all at the same timeā€¦? wouldnt that be amazing?” It could be amazingly bad, have you considered that? What if we were all wrong? What if the subsequent action that we all agreed to was the wrong thing to do?

KeithWilson's avatar

@lilycoyote with the right person heading this endeavor with the correct motivations it could be a great thing….

iamthemob's avatar

@KeithWilson

That it would be worth it. Anything can serve a purpose, but that doesn’t mean it’s worth the trade offs.

KeithWilson's avatar

@iamthemob if the purpose is great enough. and the trade-offs could even be beneficial….

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

A representative of/for what?

iamthemob's avatar

@KeithWilson

That’s vague. What is the point you’re trying to get at?

KeithWilson's avatar

@simone De Beavoir a representitive for/of mankind….

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

In front of whom?

KeithWilson's avatar

@Simone De Beauvior As a respresentitive of earth to the heavens…..

KeithWilson's avatar

@iamthemob maybe its time a representitive of mankind to speak….

superjuicebox's avatar

one man could make a hell of difference. Maybe not change everything, but look at hitler, yes terrible example, he had a huge influence on our history and the world. He didn’t necessarily change everything but he did a lot of terrible things that changed many many things.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@KeithWilson That’s what I thought. I think I can be that person, for real.

KeithWilson's avatar

@superjuicebox my birthday is the same as hitlers….and the columbine shootings…4/20

KeithWilson's avatar

@simone de beauvior do you have mankinds best interests at heart?

KeithWilson's avatar

and weed is optional….

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@KeithWilson Could you please define “everything” for us? I mean individuals can certainly make significant changes, but everything? Not a chance.

iamthemob's avatar

@KeithWilson

It’s your point that maybe it’s time for a representative of mankind to speak?

Well, unfortunately, we have a wonderfully diverse population. So the idea that the best interests of mankind could be represented in this way…well…it’s kind of a non-starter.

maggiechen55's avatar

no,there is not.
all things need the whole people’ together effort.

KeithWilson's avatar

@firemadeflesh i mean for all intents and purposes….

anartist's avatar

A poor carpenter changed a lot of shit. So did the merchant/shepherd Muhammed.
Many people change language without even knowing they did.

KeithWilson's avatar

unless you want to get more specific….

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@KeithWilson That tells me nothing. Did Hitler change everything? Did Jesus? Has anyone in history? What about someone less important, like Bin Laden?

lillycoyote's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I am now officially a Simone_De_Beauvoirist! Or a Simone_De_Beauvoirian! Which would you prefer? Either way, I will follow you blindly! At least for minute or two :-)

KeithWilson's avatar

@firemadeflesh for you “everything” is not the right way to go about it. i should say a great deal of things maybe for you to understand better. how about many things?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@lillycoyote I will accept however you identify, :) so either is fine and I would love to walk with you to the heavens and explain what’s happening with this world.

KeithWilson's avatar

thank you ladies…

KeithWilson's avatar

many means different things to different people….

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@KeithWilson Well sure, anyone can change many things. Even the serial pests who run naked across sporting fields change many things, and get a lot of exposure (excuse the pun).

KeithWilson's avatar

@firemadeflesh i see….

superjuicebox's avatar

well, if one person had the resources to make a bunch of nuclear weapons then yes they could change everything. lol

iamthemob's avatar

@KeithWilson

You still haven’t made you’re point yet.

KeithWilson's avatar

@superjuicebox thats the extent of change that i am talking about…
@iamthemob what if that situation were neccessary?

KeithWilson's avatar

do you think that a single person could be the majority representitve for the planet earth?

superjuicebox's avatar

@KeithWilson yeah, if they had what i was talking about and they took over. Or they could just eradicate all of us. Either way they’d change everything.

iamthemob's avatar

If you can tell me a particular situation when that would be necessary, I will be able to answer the question.

YARNLADY's avatar

I can only think of the man who has control of the so-called red button such as the President of Korea or his son.

KeithWilson's avatar

i cant answer red button issues. sorry….

superjuicebox's avatar

lol or obama with our nuclear stockpile of what is it… 7000+ atom bombs ?

iamthemob's avatar

@KeithWilson

So what about the particular situation?

lillycoyote's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir It seems that someone may have mislead you as to what exactly this “God” job involves. Thanks to fundamentalist Christians, god is really nothing more than a low-level, petty bureaucrat that sits in a little cosmic cubicle somewhere, making binder clip sculptures and surfing the internet, not doing much more than rubber stamping salvation applications that have only one question. “Have you accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior?” If the “yes” box is checked you stamp it “SAVED” and put it in one tray and if the “no” box is checked you stamp it “DAMNED” and you put it in the other tray. That’s pretty much all god does these days, apparently. You’re extremely overqualified and will be bored very quickly. Plus, the whole operation, the whole “Department of God” is going to be outsourced to a scanning facility in Hyderbad next year. At least that’s what I’ve heard.

Nullo's avatar

The right person, in the right place, at the right time, could make all of the difference in the world. Trouble is finding all of those.

superjuicebox's avatar

@lillycoyote lmao :p ur awesome.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@lillycoyote Oh. Well hell…all the more reason I should go – I deal with that daily.
@Nullo – do you think I’d be a good representative?

KeithWilson's avatar

@iamthemob never mind. its just something i read in a book….

KeithWilson's avatar

@Simone De Beauvoir Terry Goodkinds Sword of Truth series

KeithWilson's avatar

im trying to include its teachings into my research…..

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@KeithWilson I’ll look it up. Research for what? Are you doing a PhD?

KeithWilson's avatar

@Simone De Beauvior No not quite. Im just interested in various things….what you might call an amateur.

iamthemob's avatar

Oh my GOD I’m bored.

Peace out.

KeithWilson's avatar

thanks iamthemob

lillycoyote's avatar

@superjuicebox Thanks, but don’t get your expectations up. I’m only awesome sometimes, most often in months with 30 days or less. And a lot of the time I am totally not at all awesome. But all compliments and any fawning at all are encouraged and appreciated, always :-)

KeithWilson's avatar

anyway…thanks for the answers…im out….

Nullo's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Not really, no. But then, my wisdom is finite. Kinda like how nobody in the Fellowship guessed that Gollum would be the one to destroy the Ring.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Nullo Ah well…for some reason I really thought you’d say yes and mean it.

cockswain's avatar

Oh my god, when are they going to kick this freakshow out of here?

Nullo's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Sorry to disappoint.

Jabe73's avatar

If an individual has enough money then yes it seems. A little fame probally doesn’t hurt either.

downtide's avatar

No single individual has all the time, knowledge and resources (or even the desire) to change everything.

But every single individual has the power, knowledge and resources to change something. Together, we can change everything.

BoBo1946's avatar

Yes. Martin Luther King, Mandela, Jesus Christ, etc., just to name a few.

cockswain's avatar

@Nullo That wasn’t directed at you, but I don’t know what 0_o means either.

Nullo's avatar

@cockswain It’s supposed to mimic a facial expression in order to convey surprise, shock, etc.

cockswain's avatar

I see. Well you aren’t a freak, so don’t worry.

Nullo's avatar

@downtide Maybe not to refactor the world, but perhaps along the lines of the Butterfly Effect?

downtide's avatar

@Nullo that’s a good comparison. When you factor in cause and effect maybe one individual CAN change everything; it just takes an infinite amount of time.

Nullo's avatar

@downtide I wouldn’t be that pessimistic about the timeframe; there is, after all, a very finite amount of everything, if you limit your perspective to the Earth.

downtide's avatar

@Nullo but there are also a bunch of other people negating your changes with changes of their own and cancelling them out.

Nullo's avatar

@downtide That just means that you need more power.

downtide's avatar

A person has only as much power as they have. That’s why some achieve great things in their lifetime and others don’t.

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