The Power Of Choice Over Social Influence - aifc

Television, Radio, The internet and Social Media has a huge influence on people’s lives as a whole.  According to Mark Stibbe’s observances, people’s reactions to the same kind of news can differ greatly from one nation to the next in keeping with their social mindset.

How do two English speaking nations think very differently?  Mark Stibbe explains…

“A few weeks ago there was a story in the news that went viral on social media. It concerned a young Queen’s Guardsman on duty outside Buckingham Palace. During the Changing of the Guard the poor lad tripped over a manhole cover and fell, knocking his bearskin on the sentry box and dropping his rifle.

Pictures of the moment – as well as a video of it taken by a spectator – went all over the world in a matter of minutes, arousing raucous mirth.

A few months before the news was full of another story about falling. This time about Madonna.  Madonna fell over during the performance of a new song live at the Brit Awards (I was watching it when it happened). It was the first time she had sung at the Brit Awards in twenty years. During one of her dance routines, Madonna’s cape – which was tied too tight – became snagged and she tumbled to the floor.   Once again, the incident went global.  Within minutes it was a headline on the BBC news programme that followed.

What I observed in the British reaction to these events disturbed me. Thousands, maybe even millions of Brits found these moments deeply satisfying and even wildly entertaining. They took pleasure in these falls, enjoying the transition from gaping shock to gloating glee. This got me thinking. What is it about the British that loves seeing people in the public eye fall from grace?   Why do we see such implosions – whether physical, moral, financial, whatever – as fitting targets for cynical mirth?”

In America

“All this is fiercely relevant to my own life. Nearly a year after my fall I found myself on the Eastern seaboard of the USA. I was there to lead a writer’s workshop. During my stay a crisis broke out in the church and I was asked to support the church’s leadership in navigating their way through it.  When I went to the leader’s meeting one evening I was understandably nervous. How would they respond to me? They all knew that I had fallen. What would they say?

When I entered the room I received one hug after another. These outstanding African American brothers and sisters weren’t in the least bit focused on my past.

All they wanted to see was that I had brushed myself down and got up again – that I was walking by faith again and reconnected to my Heavenly Father.  So there were no sermons, only shoulders. No gloating, only hugging. That, beloved readers, was a game changing moment for me.  The next morning I woke up early as the golden New England sun began to rise. I started to reflect on the difference between this American response and the standard British reaction to situations like mine.”

The Comparison

“In Britain we love it when heroes become zeroes. We love putting people on pedestals and then knocking them down.  It’s almost become a national blood sport.

In America I see the reverse. Maybe it’s because of the American Dream. I don’t know. But over the Pond people love seeing zeroes becoming heroes. What matters to them is, “Are you going to get up again?”

Regardless of what’s going on around us, what influence society may have on our daily lives, we have free will to make good and wise choices.”

God Did Not Take Away Free Will From Us. 

Deuteronomy 11:26

“Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse

Jeremiah 21:8

“Furthermore, tell the people, ‘This is what the LORD says: See, I am setting before you the way of life and the way of death.;”


Mark Stibbe Award winning and best-selling author, blogger, script doctor, CEO of Kingdom Writing Solutions.

‘After the Fall’ by Mark Stibbe, Permission Attained –

Free Will – Wikipedia –

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Studying at aifc

Have you thought about becoming a qualified counsellor? It’s a great opportunity to learn how you can extend God's love and grace to the hurting out in the community.

For those who would like to enrol in aifc’s accredited Christian counselling courses we have two intakes per year for courses commencing around the following months:

  • The beginning of each year in February
  • Mid-Year courses commence in July

Enrolment Season - opens approximately 2 months prior to our courses commencing. Enrol online here during our enrolment season.

We also offer two modes of study:

  1. Seminar Blended Mode - only 13 face-to-face days per year
  2. Online Supported Mode - study online only from anywhere

A Master of Counselling course was introduced in 2018.

Contact aifc

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At aifc, our sole focus is to train and equip Christian Counsellors. More than just a counsellor, a Christian counsellor trusts in God and listens to His still small voice above all else.

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Nicholas Marks, CEO aifc

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