Bruce Lee -- Infinite Influencer
I came across an interesting website the other day which discussed the role that certain people have had in the world as ‘infinite influencers.’ In the article they were not talking about an influencer from the perspective as how the term seems to be used so prevalently today, namely to describe a person followed by loads of other people on some social network such as Instagram who has the ability to influence potential buyers of a product or service by promoting or recommending the items on their sites. Today social media abounds with countless people claiming the title or being touted by others as ‘influencers.’
They were talking about an influencer as someone who affects or changes the way that other people think, behave, etc. because of their authority, knowledge, skill, position, etc. And they used the word infinite because these individuals transcend their profession, their culture, and their nationality, and influence people on a scale which is limitless in size and never-ending. Among the people the site listed as infinite influencers were former world-champion boxer, Muhammad Ali – legendary actor, Steve McQueen -- and actress, Sophia Loren. I realize that there could be countless other who might also be included however these were the three that were discussed.
I’d like to add another name to the list; Bruce Lee. Bruce Lee remains an infinite influencer in every sense of the above definition. Bruce Lee shook up the world of martial arts by challenging the status quo at the time and innovating a whole new attitude and approach to martial art training that revolutionized the industry and changed it forever. The results of his influence are still being seen and felt today. Over the years since his passing countless people of all ages around the world have cited Bruce Lee as their source of inspiration for becoming involved in martial arts. Lee is also recognized by many as the pioneer and godfather of what is now known as “mixed martial arts,” a sport that didn’t even exist until 20 years after he was gone, and his art of Jeet Kune Do is seen as the genesis of the spate of hybrid martial arts that now exist in the world today.
Bruce Lee not only had massive influence in the martial art world, but also the film world. As an actor, writer, producer, director, and stunt action choreographer, Lee’s innovations created a whole new genre of action films, which not only made him a cinematic superstar but propelled the martial arts into the worldwide cinematic mainstream and popularized martial arts in a global scale. Filmmakers and actors across the globe cite Bruce Lee as their guiding influence to want to make movies.
Bruce Lee is also an infinite influencer in the arena of self-help and human potential. Despite his passing over forty five years ago, his thought continues to inspire thousands of individuals around the world, from all walks of life. Lee’s philosophical concepts and ideas such as maintaining fluidity of thought and action, honestly expressing oneself, eradicating the cause of one’s ignorance, and many others have influenced the lives of countless individuals around the globe. His writings and actions have spurred people in all sorts of disciplines and he continues to serve as a beacon of human potential, of what is possible for an individual to achieve if they’re willing to put forth the time and energy into their personal growth and development. His capacity as a role model cuts across genders, nationalities, ethnic groups and social classes. Rappers, musicians, film directors, artists, bodybuilders, athletes, martial artists, self-help gurus, business entrepreneurs and innovators are amongst those who have cited Bruce Lee as a source of inspiration.
In the eulogy Linda Lee Cadwell read before laying her husband to rest, she stated – “The light of stars that were extinguished years ago still reaches us. So it is with great men who died centuries ago, but still reach us with the radiation of their personality. And so it will be with Bruce.”
Bruce Lee’s light and energy still reaches and influences millions of people around the world. That is why I believe he is and shall remain an ‘infinite influencer.’