It used to be that, long ago, you needed to be near the samurai warlord in order to wield any power; you had to be "where the action is." It used to be that way in the west too; if you weren't near the king or in the king's court, you couldn't influence any decisions and you had little power to influence society.
It has been this way for thousands of years; you either had to be near or in a seat in government or the church or you had zero influence in decisions that moved society.
It started changing in 1450 when Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press. As technology has gotten better and better, the ability to influence society and change people's lives has gotten easier and easier - farther and farther - away from the traditional seats and centers of power.
This is probably how the saying, "the pen is mightier than the sword" came into existence.
Still, all through the Industrial Revolution and even up until the last twenty years, being involved and being able to change an archaic system such as our political one has still required being in the center - but changing and influencing society as a whole, and being able to change how the average man and woman thinks and feels, has changed completely with the advent of the Internet.
Maybe Rasputin wasn't a really bad guy
I would submit to you that, today, you can change and influence society much more when you are not in the center. Just look at things like Anonymous taking down the Greek government sites, Wikileaks, the Twitter and the Occupy Wall Street Movement and the overthrow of governments in the Middle East for evidence of that.
The Internet has shown us the you no longer need to be in the center of action. You no longer need to be in the big cities in order to have a big influence and change things... You no longer need to be sitting at a desk or physically in that meeting... You can be far away and have a great impact. The Internet has become the great equalizer. The Internet allows everyone and anyone to be able to have some say, some control in what is happening. That's why it scares the hell out of the old center of power and that's why they are doing whatever they can to control it.
Many people think that they must be in the center in order to influence people, thinking and actions. In our modern day Internet, this sort of thinking is proving old fashioned and out of date.
Are you stuck with out of date thinking? Or can you free yourself?
Thanks to Paco Pil and Seth Godin for the inspiration for this post!