"There are two parts to influence:
First, influence is powerful;
and second, influence is subtle.
You wouldn't let someone push you off course,
but you might let someone nudge you
off course and not even realize it."
-- Jim Rohn
I remember many years ago that there was this huge debate in the newspapers, on television about the potential negative effect of violence on TV and in the movies on young people. Some said yes, some no, some were neutral about it, and I thought back then that it seems impossible that it could not have an effect.
It affected me when I was a kid. I played war games and used stick guns to shoot people. We played cowboys and Indians and the cowboys always won. We watched war on television, whether it was world war I or II movies, news of wars, potential wars, and limited conflicts (newer name for war).
It doesn't take much. All you have to do is put someone near me for a while and they might have a unique little phrase or sound they make and pretty soon I'm doing it as well. Or, we might hear something on the radio and begin repeating it and sharing it around. After all, isn't this exactly what babies do growing up? They mimic those around them and by seeing them do a thing, then they follow suit and try to do that as well.
So the debate about things having an effect on us is pointless. The debate might better be served by debating how much of an effect and how long, or how much it might change our own views, beliefs, thinking, or results.
I think of some who watch a lot of TV and even as they go to sleep, forgetting to turn it off and it is on all night long talking to them while they sleep. It's the fear shows and the arguing shows and the news and the commercials and more. Does it have an effect? I ask, how could it not have an effect?
How about this. Put some headphones on with a recording playing someone saying to you, 'You are an idiot, you are an idiot. You are a worthless human being.' It plays over and over and over again. How long before you are an idiot? Not long unless you take charge and throw away the recording and change your thinking to positive, uplifting thoughts about yourself.
It's the same with fear. This is why I stopped reading the newspaper almost ten years ago. I stopped watching any news program about 5 years ago. I keep the fear-laden input to an absolute minimum. I haven't missed a thing worth mentioning. I have not lost contact with the world, and better than all this, I am a better person as a result. I read uplifting things, I listen to uplifting talks, and I am uplifted and improved.
Does it have an effect? Damn straight! How could it not?
Some Things Are Blatantly Obvious.
Spread Some Joy Today--Remember G.I.G.O. is Garbage In, Garbage Out. You can eat some pretty unhealthy and delicious meals, but your body will not benefit from the nutrional things you fail to put in. The more unhealthy the diet, the more need for counterintuative measures.