Thinking on Impact

There are times in each of our lives where we can’t believe what is happening. Sometimes people interact with us that make us feel like better people, more important people. It could be a signature from a celebrity that you get after traveling for hours, or a lunch meeting you have with your favorite teacher, or a special trip you take with your brother or sister that makes you feel like you are the most important person in their life at that very moment. It can even be a glance from someone who you really admire, a hand on the shoulder from your mother or father, or a wedding ring offered to you by your best friend. Throughout our lives, and sometimes every day, we have experiences that honestly define weeks, years or even decades of our lives into the future. Things happen to us all the time that set events in motion, turn our lives in new directions and sometimes even happen to us that define who we are.
What is most surprising about this is not that it happens, we can all attest to that. In fact, I imagine all of those small examples brought a few of your own unique life experiences glowing to your mind. That’s normal, human, and very comforting for each of us. If it weren’t for these moments, our lives would be very different. What is surprising to us about these events is that we make some of them happen, from the other side.
Everyday we interact with people, and sometimes we are those admired people that others are looking up to. Sometimes we are that special person who allotted their time to be spent with someone else. Sometimes we are the big brother or sister who takes our sibling out on that special trip, and sometimes someone feels our hand on their shoulder and it brings them indescribable comfort. Those moments almost always go on without us noticing, and it isn’t until well after the fact that we stand back and think, “Wow, I bet that really meant a lot to my brother, or to my sister. I guess that comfort meant a lot more to my friend than I realized, and apparently that person really thought it was special I spent time with them.”
Seven people linked me to my sponsoring Kiwanis club here in North Carolina, seven people who didn’t know each other and who never had met me before in their lives. Each one lead me to the next and two years later, with over 3000 volunteer hours and hundreds of lives changes, I go back to them to say thank you. None of them take the credit that I give them. Who could have known that them helping me for only 15 seconds would change the lives of so many?
Well, I hope that you all know, yourselves. The fact is, we all have this capacity. We can all be heroes to someone. We can all be a big brother or big sister by birth or by mentorship. There are those here who wish to become teachers, social workers, politicians, bankers, lawyers, realtors, doctors, nurses, grocery store workers, mothers, fathers, and a thousand other things I can only imagine. The fact is, I have been changed by all of those people in my life, and many many more. I may have been changed by you, and for that I want to say thank you. I may, sometime in my life, be changed by you too. For that, I say good luck, thank you and let me know how I can help.