One person can have a big impact on the world

One person can have a big impact on the world

5 min read

We are all accustomed to the saying, “one person can have a big impact.” It has generally been used as an inspiring phrase to encourage kindness, but without an easy way to track the ripple effect of one person’s actions, this statement may have sounded like a tired cliché.

Not anymore. Coronavirus has driven home (literally!) how interconnected and interdependent we all are. As difficult as it is to upend our lives, close businesses, become unemployed, or move all our interactions with colleagues, friends and family online, we are doing this for. But the glimmer of hope amidst the uncertainty and fear is that, since we are clearly dependent on each other, positive actions can spread just as quickly if we make the conscious choice to do so.

Unlike a virus that can travel from person to person without the host or recipient(s) being aware, communicating kindness requires awareness and intention. Consciously caring for each other’s well-being can be accomplished in many ways that abide by responsible social distancing, and it is one of the things that will help us get through this pandemic more quickly.

Another thing that will help us be stronger on the other side of coronavirus is taking this time to improve our skills and abilities so we can solidify our employability and become stronger members of the workforce. This can be accomplished through reading books or articles, listening to podcasts, and participating in online courses. The positive outcomes from participating in self-learning are numerous, not the least of which is mental health and engagement, even if our bodies are confined to our home or neighborhood.

Spreading kindness, not the virus

For the first time in modern history, the people on the front lines are not military men and women. Thank you to the doctors, nurses, and first responders who are doing their best to help those in need and keep the rest of us healthy. Thank you to the grocery store workers, pharmacists, food delivery people, supply-truck drivers, and all essential workers who are selflessly putting themselves at risk so that the rest of us can still have access to food and medicine. Thank you to the local officials who are showing leadership by making tough choices that, while unpopular at first, enact restrictions that will ultimately help us get through this pandemic faster and with fewer illnesses.

Despite all the differences to traditional wartime, one similarity is that all of us at home (literally, again) still have a role to play. For most of us, that means staying indoors and using virtual methods to connect with friends and loved ones. For those of us who are healthy and able, it means helping community members in need.

For people at Eightfold, compassion during Coronavirus means:

  • Offering to go on a grocery or pharmacy run, and tossing in some Zoom humor, as Kamal Ahluwalia has done
  • Setting up free resume evaluations and a writing service, as Mike Watson has done
  • Reminding those of us who are able that donating blood will save lives, as Steve Feyer did
  • Supporting a young couple who lost their life savings due to their wedding venue going bankrupt, and setting up a GoFundMe as Quinn Adler has

For our communities, kindness means:

  • Vicky Walia’s (chief talent & capability officer at Prudential Financial) message of hope amidst the chaos
  • A restaurant sharing its contact info, despite having to close, so neighbors in need of food can get in touch
  • Neighbors devising communication systems that are both digital and old-fashioned
  • Singing from balconies and applauding doctors and nurses

These are just a few examples of the humanity that these trying times are inspiring. We would love to hear your kindness stories as well, and let’s keep acts of kindness going even after things get back to “normal.”

Learning for the future’s mission is to enable the “right career for everyone in the world” and encourage hiring based on potential. Countless high-potential individuals are struggling with layoffs due to Coronavirus-related restrictions, while an air of uncertainty is hanging over us all regardless of employment status. The outbreak will slow down, and places of business will reopen around the world, as they are starting to in Wuhan. In the meantime, the best thing we can do is broaden or deepen our employable skill sets. Employers could also benefit from encouraging employees to develop their skills at this time both for their mental health and future productivity potential. A list of available online learning platforms is available below.

Life after Covid-19

There is no doubt that “Coronavirus will change the world permanently.” Hopefully an awareness of our interdependence will improve collaboration among countries, cooperation among businesses, and kindness among individuals. We are currently, and will always be, in this together!

“Although we may think about specific global issues like health, conflict, finance, and the environment as separate, and perhaps unrelated, challenges to be tackled independently, the reality is far from it. They are actually deeply connected, and our understanding, appreciation, and responses should be shaped accordingly.” – UN Foundation

Examples of available online learning platforms, from free to most expensive


(Large catalog of free courses, and 2 months of SkillShare Premium for free)


(Free to audit the course; up to $79/month to receive a Specialized Program certificate)


(Many courses are free, but verified certificates can range $50-$250+; Programs can cost $1,000+)

General Assembly

(Free< course to learn the basics of web development; free livestreamed courses; up to $299 for classes/workshops, $950 for on demand; up to $3,950 for par-time courses)


(Courses can range from $20 to $200, or more)


(Sale as of March 22: courses and bundles are available as low as $20)

  • Topics include: Business, Design, Development, IT + Security, Marketing, Photography, Self

(Classes are being temporarily offered remotely; a large range of courses and bootcamps are under $200, but others can cost up to $2,000 or $3,000):

Example courses under $200: SEO Basics, Digital Marketing Bootcamp, Content Strategy 101, Getting Started With WordPress, Introduction to Google Analytics, Design Thinking Workshop, Data Analytics Bootcamp, SQL Bootcamp

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