I was reading through the May 2009 edition of Time Magazine when a comment by Meg Ryan jumped off the pages and pointed out something spectacularly important. That’s right, Meg Ryan the actress. She wrote a short blurb on Tom Hanks for the magazine’s “The Time 100: The World’s Most Influential People.” Tom is one of the esteemed 100. In any event, Meg was rambling, almost aimlessly, about how great Tom is and how much fun he can be. The article didn’t offer much support to what made Tom so influential until she hit the home run with one quick observation. “He’s interesting because he is interested.” She went on to say he has a “wondrous capacity to wonder.”
Until reading those words I honestly hadn’t considered before how many of the people I would call influential in my life had the quality of being interested. Interested not just in me, but in everything around them. They reached beyond themselves and took in any and all information their surroundings had to offer. Questions were asked for answers, not for conversation’s sake. Observations were made for knowledge and not for ego. I suppose when you think of what it takes to be influential, being able to understand or relate to those we share our environment would play a heavy role.
Now my mind is flipping through the people I’ve encountered in my life who clearly wanted the power of influence, but who just couldn’t quite get there. Many did seem to be missing the inclination to take a genuine interest in anyone or anything other than themselves. Now isn’t that something to think about? And all because of Meg Ryan.