Influence

A lot of people my age are asking themselves what they want to do for a living. Some people just know by the time they are 16. I am not one of those people. I changed my major literally six times (biblical studies, communications, psychology, social work, psychology, and the winner is – ENGLISH!). But I think with the question of: What do you want to be when you grow up? Comes the question – How can I make an impact on the world? What can I do that is both fulfilling and influential?

Last weekend I went to a book festival (yes, I am a nerd). I got to hear a lot of authors talk about writing and about their works. I was really excited for the key-note speaker (although I’ve never read her), but really disappointed with how she treated the interviewer. She may be incredibly influential in her writing, but she is not someone I want to have in my life.

On the flip side of that, there is a woman here at school who works in the dining services. I think she must work so many hours, because she is always here. She works hard. She looks pretty young and has a daughter. Her job is not a glamorous one, but she always has a smile on her face. She is always kind and caring, calling everyone around “baby”. Once I dropped and broke a glass bottle of coffee (shocking, I know). It spilled everywhere, and some girl in line acted like it was the end of the world. This woman was working, she cleaned it up and didn’t make a big deal out of it – I think she knew I felt bad that she had to clean it up, so she didn’t make me feel any worse. Everytime me and my friends get food while she is working, we can’t help but comment on how she just is so kind and keeps such a great attitude. She probably has no idea how much she influences everyone here at school, but she really does. She is an influential person just in the way she lives her life.

My point is just that – I used to want to be this literary, influential writer. I think somewhere inside of me I thought that I had to be something like that to make a difference, but the truth is that some of the most influential people are just hard-working people we come across everyday. You don’t have to be Einstein or Shakespeare to change the world. All you really need is a positive attitude. The people with fun, good attitudes are what made my office job meaningful to me. No matter how little or un-important you feel – you influence the people around you. And I’m not going to be remembering some writer’s words on my death bed one day, I’ll be remembering the people who have had an impact on my day to day life. 

Thank you to those awesome people who have influenced me by caring.

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3 thoughts on “Influence

  1. This is really awesome. Realizing you don’t have to have highly visible and noteworthy influences is freeing, isn’t it? I love you!

  2. YEESSSSS! You have been one of those people for me 🙂

    I feel the same way tho. At my clinic, the people who I am encouraged by the most are not the ones that constantly emphasize how much they have made a difference in some kid’s life (okay maybe there’s only one guy that does that, haha) but it is the one’s who are always having a good attitude and are pleasant to be around. I think humbleness is the key. There are a couple clinicians I look up to, but I am always really impressed by and thankful for our office assistants. They are always so kind and patient with all my newby questions and never complain about all the work they have to do.

    Thanks for this post!! It was a great reminder of the kind of person I want to be 🙂

    Thanks for your

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