Editorial: You’re going to impact someone’s life even if you don’t realize it
No matter who you are or your age, you’re going to have an impact on someone’s life. For me, that lesson came full-circle Saturday morning at Charles City High School’s graduation.
For those who do not know, I use to work in Charles City’s public schools. I spent eight years inside of classrooms and coached for 15 years. When you spend that much time in the classroom and with students, you get to know them and have an impact on them.
Saturday morning, the commencement speaker at Charles City High School’s graduation was a former student-athlete of mine. She had just completed undergrad school at my college alma mater (Old Dominion University) and will be heading to Morgan State University to obtain her master’s degree. As she spoke, I kept my emotions inside because I had watched this young lady grow and blossom from a sixth grader who shot a basketball into the wrong basket during a game to a woman who delivered a powerful message to outgoing graduates.
After the ceremony as I was taking pictures, she immediately walked up to me and hugged me. I held back a few tears and just told her how great of a job she did and that I was proud of her. I flash-backed to when she tagged me in a message on social media announcing her graduation, mentioning me as one of her influences that made her choose Old Dominion University.
As a person, you’re going to have some type of influence in a person’s life, no matter if it’s positive or negative. The way you carry yourself in the past will be an influence in someone’s future. I take the analogy of a ripple in a pond; you drop a pebble in the center and watch the waves spread in all different directions. The waves will either keep going or they will hit an object and dissipate. What type of pebble you throw in the pond is dependent on you, because the effects will be felt around you.
No matter what you do or what you participate in, you’re going to be a factor in someone’s life. Work towards the positive and build a strong foundation to influence a person to do the best that they can. An investment into them at an early age along with the faith of watching them grow may yield results that will not only benefit them, but you as well.