How far away can I influence people. I suspect that if I hit the right 10 numbers on my phone, I could ring a phone that might get me to within 10 feet of the President of the United States. Or I bet I could randomly press some numbers and talk to somebody in India or something. Apparently I have a fairly wide range of influence.
We have such a wide range of influence that most people feel that whenever something is going on in the world they have a responsibility to whatever is happening. Whether it was a dog starve in an art gallery (fake, read other posts) or an actual war in another country, most people have a sense that they should and can do something about it. There are protests and things that go on all around the world that we hear about. The media boost our sense of influence because whenever anybody does something, it get amplified by the media.
But do we all individually have influence around the world? Well there is the "butterfly effect" and technically I am attracted in a strong nuclear, weak nuclear, electromagnetic and gravitational way to everybody else on earth. But should I care? Should I even attempt to do things half a world away simply because they are right? There are things I can do right around me that are equally right, that I will be able to influence to much greater effect.
I don't want to appear to harsh, but another example that I always feel comes up is raising money for various diseases. It seems every day I hear many ads talking about what I can do, and what things I can participate in to raise money. Usually it is some sort of gala, silent auction, a run, a bike, a walk. Yes these events raise money that will go to helping fund medical care or research, however, consider how much of your influence you are actually putting towards ending the disease. I'd say your might be paying for one day of drugs with whatever money you raise. You are still having a positive influence, but I suspect it would actually be in ways you hadn't intended.
If you were training for a run to raise money, you influenced yourself in a positive way because fitness is good for you. Maybe cancer survivors were at the run, your support probably made them feel good. I suspect that there are many more things that were actually influenced before your influence in ending cancer will ever be apparent.
Hypothetically, what would happen instead of spending the time on organizing runs and all that, if people actually tried to more directly influence things. What if we actually got biology books and started learning from them. What if more people on earth actually knew how cancer worked and were thinking about it?
I think I've been arguing this point from a positive side, which isn't very easy. Suppose your protesting a war in a far away country and you end up starting a riot? Did you consider your influence?