“You have no idea how often I think, I wonder what BP would say or do in this moment?” As these words washed over me I found myself struggling with a response. It came in the midst of a conversation with a thirty-something who I had not interacted with since he was in his teens. Our chance encounter was filled with reminiscing, comparing notes about folks from our shared past, and talking about our present reality. And then he talked about the impact I had had on his life. I had no idea.
This exchange reminded me yet again of the effect, often unknown, that our words and actions have on others. Certainly in my own life there have been teachers, coaches, clergy, bosses and of course family who significantly impacted my life.
It is important to name that words and actions have the capacity to impact – either positively or negatively – regardless of intent.
Recently I learned there has been a significant increase of violence in our schools. Unfortunately, I am not surprised to hear this. All one has to do is look at many of the adults in our world. We witness daily, at the capital, on airplanes, on the roadways, adults acting aggressively towards each other. Our children are watching.
Our children are watching…
I wonder what our world would look like if adults framed their words and actions in the knowledge that our children are watching.
Our children ARE watching…
I was humbled by the words from my recent encounter. I had no idea – and – am grateful that my words and actions provided a positive impact. I’m sure along the way there are others who had a different experience. It is an important reminder that what we say and what we do has a potential long term impact.
“…But a role model in the flesh provides more than inspiration; his or her very existence is confirmation of possibilities one may have every reason to doubt, saying, ‘Yes, someone like me can do this.’”