I was sharing food and conversation with a friend last night. I found myself in a story of a young woman in his life. He loves being with her! He finds that he behaves in a way that he never imagined with she is with him. The impact is quite mutual. When her father mentions his name, her eyes light up! Just the sound of his name causes her to laugh and imagine the possibilities.
He is a young man in love with his wife. She is two.
I can remember three young women about the same age who had a profound impact on me. The first taught me that children, especially girls, can have a special relationship with potential fathers. The other two were my daughters – special young girls and now women who continue to have a profound impact on my life.
It is easy to underestimate the impact we have on each other. In writings centuries old, an observation was made along these lines. “The unbelieving husband shares to an extent in the holiness of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is likewise touched by the holiness of her husband.” (1 Corinthians 7.13) My experience with Carli and Whitney reminds me that our influence can be profound, even if we are not aware that we are playing the influencer role.
The reminders today cause me to question my understanding of how my choices and decisions play out. I find it hard to believe that others are impacted by who and what I am. It is hard, yet my doubt does not change the fact that you and I have an influence on those we know or interact we.
The question as I begin a new day is a simple one. What influence would I like to leave with those around me? I know I may not be successful. I also know that without intent and perseverance, I will fail. These two ingredients are merely the starting point. A close relationship with Compassion and Love are essential in order for the intent to play out.