Saturday, September 25, 2010

Make An Impact

Photo: 2010 Okefenokee Swamp

We all have the potential to make an impact on another persons life. Sometimes it is as simple as a kind word, a helping hand or a note of thanks. A small moment that perhaps we will forget happened but will be remembered by the recipient.

We all assume various roles. I am a parent, spouse, daughter, sibling, friend, co-worker, training partner and martial arts instructor. We have opportunities on a daily basis to offer encouragement, support, praise, assistance, empathy and compassion.

My daughter has attended the same school since she started pre-school at age three. She has been part of the school community for eight of her eleven years. I remember being stopped by a teacher in the parking lot of kindergarten graduation. The teacher wanted to let us know that our daughter was kind to the other children. It was nice to hear.

Last week, my daughter received a hand written envelope at school. It was a note from her art teacher.

Dear E,

It has been so much fun watching you grow into such a lovely young lady over the years. The art work you did for me this week was perfect! Thanks again for helping me out.

Mrs. B.

My daughter was thrilled with the note. She immediately showed me the card and explained how she helped the art teacher and a few other students. I am certain my daughter will remember the gesture, the teacher and the contents of the note. This was the same teacher who stopped us in the parking lot years ago. This teacher made an impact.

As a martial arts instructors, we have the opportunity to make an impact. Recently we attended the wedding of a student who we have not seen in years. She took lessons during her teen years attaining the rank of brown belt. We were happy to be invited to her wedding. During the reception, the father of the bride visited our table. He shook my husband's hand and thanked us both for teaching his daughter karate. He credits the time she spent with us in the dojo as instrumental in her path to be the confident person she is today. We ran into her mother a few weeks after the wedding. The mother thanked us for coming to the wedding and told us that we are very close to her daughter's heart. We made an impact but did not find out until after eight years have past.

Each day, we all have opportunities to make an impact.

Thank you and welcome to the visitors from Aikido Journal. Many thanks to Brandon Clapp for listing my post "Managing a Break in Your Martial Arts Training" as a recommended link.


Journeyman said...

Sometimes it really is the smallest, most insignificant gesture (in our minds) that can have the most profound impact on others. I'd love to know how to recognize those things, but I doubt it's possible. My best advice is to try to be as true to who you are and what you believe in and to try to keep an open mind with others. A simple thank you or good job from time to time can never hurt, either.

Michele said...

Hi Journeyman: Thanks for commenting and the good advice. I is so hard to recognize the small things that will leave an impression.

The note my daughter's teacher sent her was a nice gesture. I am certain she will remember it.