I just learned of a high school classmate who passed away at a premature age from colon cancer. I am extremely saddened by this news and in my heart I am thinking of his loved ones who are left behind to deal with the tragedy. Though I was not close to him in high school, we were acquainted. I held him in such high esteem…he was beyond my social circle. He was a stellar athlete, excelling in football, basketball and track. He was an outstanding student. He was stunningly handsome. He was voted prom king. And he was the most polite and self-effacing gentleman anyone could ever come across. I’m not sure I exchanged any words with him…I don’t remember. But, if we did, it was in passing, with a brief glance and perhaps an acknowledgement as he may have walked by in a hallway to class.
He and his family probably have no idea how he, as one individual, affected other lives in such a positive way. I’ve thought of him over the years. Not often, but now and again…often enough to be surprised at how powerful an impression someone made on me who I actually had very little interaction with.
This just goes to show that you don’t have to be a celebrity of any kind to make a deep impact on one person or many people. Don’t be discouraged if you feel under-appreciated or that your best efforts are unrewarded. When you live your life according to your moral code and strive to excel to the best of your ability, others will notice. When your actions match your beliefs in all you do and you care enough about the world to seek out truth, you will stand out within a group. Maybe people will not openly tell you of how they feel. Maybe strangers or passing acquaintances won’t get the chance to interact with you. But, know that you will have made an impact.
And do speak out when you are inspired to do so. We all learn from one another. It’s not important whether someone disagrees with you…they become more knowledgeable by just hearing your opinion. That’s why I’ve been inspired to write this blog. By just having an opinion and sharing information, our care and passion are revealed.