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Who is Truly Influential?

Cal Thomas | Syndicated Columnist | Updated: May 29, 2007

Who is Truly Influential?

May 7, 2007

Who is the most influential person in your life? Your parents? A teacher or minister. Such people are not considered influential by Time magazine, which has just published its annual list of 100 people shaping the world.

Are you ready for some of the names? Rosie O’Donnell, actor Leonardo Dicaprio, director Martin Scorsese, Oprah Winfrey, George Clooney, American Idol creator Simon Cowell, and Angelina Jolie.

None of these would make my list, because I define “influence” much differently. True influence involves contributing to bettering another life, indeed, changing that life. Where are the scientists who are finding cures for diseases? Where are the missionaries who risk their lives to tell people about God and his salvation? Where are the businesspeople who selflessly serve their employees and communities?

None exist in time’s mind. This is about culture and selling magazines. It isn’t about praising those with real influence. Oh, Barack Obama is on the list. What has he done? We know what he wants to do, but what has he done? Given Time’s standards, I’m glad I didn’t make the list.

Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.

Who is Truly Influential?