A Lasting Impact
Who has made a positive and lasting impact on your life?
Is it someone who is still in your life?
Is it someone who was there during a specific phase of your life?
Did their impact make a difference?
Have you taken the time to tell them?
If you haven’t, what if you did?
In October 2017, I was introduced to a quote while participating in an educator’s Twitter Chat.
“Gratitude can transform common days into Thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings. “ – William Arthur Ward
This quote resonated so much with me that I decided to share it with my second-grade students during our morning meeting. My perspective changed when we focused on gratitude in the classroom. Watching little humans notice the goodness around them and acknowledge all they appreciate inspired me.
In January 2018, I chose Gratitude as my one-word for the year. In addition, I committed to intentionally expressing gratitude and noticing all blessings around me.
I started to think about all the people who have entered my life and made a lasting impact. So I created a long list of names and began writing letters to them. I told them why and how their impact affected my life. I also shared how I saw them and the qualities they possessed, which let them know how much I cared for them.
Have you ever thought about who might be on your list?
The Impact of One’s Actions is a small blessing in your day.
Many people come into our lives and leave small blessings that we may overlook if we don’t pause to notice.
When I was going through my divorce, little did my niece, seventeen years old at the time, know that she was impacting my life. At a young age, she was firm in her faith and wrote down scripture for me on notecards that I still carry today. She shared her faith with me and blessed my life in such a huge way. The loss of my marriage broke me, and her faith gave me hope.
The Impact of One’s Actions reminds us of God’s goodness.
When I began to write the letters, God’s goodness and blessings entered my life because of the people who impacted my life.
When I started my teaching career, I worked at a school with an outstanding principal who took me under her wing. She believed in my abilities as a young teacher and encouraged me to reach for more. The day I met her, she was gardening in front of the school. She showed me a true example of servant leadership. She reminded me daily of God’s goodness; I believe no coincidences exist. I was at that school for a reason, and she was one of my blessings.
The Impact of One’s Actions can last a lifetime.
I was a timid and quiet child who felt like an invisible child in school. I only remember a few teachers taking the time to connect with me. But there is one who made a lasting impact on my life. When I began my gratitude journey, he was the first person I contacted.
Mr. Toone was my sixth-grade teacher. He saw me, and he made me feel like I mattered. I tried out for cheerleading that year but did not make the team. Mr. Toone empathized with my defeat and managed to make me feel important.
My whole life, I have thought about Mr. Toone and the huge difference he made in my young years.
It took me a bit of time to find him, but I was able to locate his brother, who led me to his whereabouts. I sent him a letter and expressed my gratitude for him and the kindness that he showed to me when I was in middle school.
Sometimes, people walk into our lives for a moment, a season, or a lifetime, but their impact can last a lifetime.
Mr. Toone was in my life for a short time, but he had a lasting impact on my life.
The heart’s generosity can leave a lasting impact on someone’s life.
Have you ever had people walk into your life who didn’t have to be there?
They didn’t have to stay? But they did.
When I was going through my divorce, I had to sell my house. A real estate agent came into my life who I believe was a gift from God. Praying for me and checking up on me, he took care of me. He did not have to do anything other than sell my house, but he chose to walk alongside me. His selfless actions were a testament to his generous heart. He left an impact on my life that cannot be erased.
In our times of need, God sends us Angels.
When I think about how many people have impacted my life, I truly believe that God sends us angels, especially in our times of need. He places people in our lives who can show us His goodness. Their words and actions remind us of His presence. Through them, He shares His love and wisdom.
My letters of gratitude have changed my life and made me more aware of the impact others have had on my life. They have made me a better person and helped me embrace the goodness God has bestowed upon me.
So, my friend, let the people in your life know if they have made an impact. Sometimes, people are not even aware of the effect that they have had on someone’s life. Therefore, it is also a gift for them to feel and understand the gratitude another has for them. They gave you a gift of themselves, and now it is time to give back. I promise it will make a difference.