You have no idea how important you are.
We experience life in our own bubbles with our own agendas. We’re committed to our pursuit of happiness irrespective to our willingness to help others on the way.
In this week’s episode of BDDT Pod, I chat with Speedy Gonzalez (my former platoon Sergeant). He describes a completely random, but gravely consequential influences in his life–and not one of those people ever knew of their eventual impact on Speedy.
As it turns out, we set an example–for better or for worse–and it matters. Everyday, impressionable teenagers observe their teachers deal with a difficult classmate. They listen to their coach explaining a proper technique. They hear their youth pastor’s lecture about the golden rule. Ultimately, they leave that classroom. They walk off that field. They exit that church. Then, they watch.
I had a teacher, a coach and mentor–all in one. His name was Doug. Doug taught history and he did a great job at that–at least I think he did, I wasn’t really paying attention. That’s kind of my point, though. I don’t remember a single thing he taught me about American History. I do remember his discipline–he did 400 push-ups and 500 sit-ups everyday no matter what. I remember how profoundly invested he was in the well-being of the students. I remember how attentive he was with his wife and kids when they came to our football games. I remember his stoic and steady demeanor. I remember how important it was for him to strike a balance between being a mentor and being a friend. I remember, most of all, learning each one of these lessons when he didn’t think I was watching.
Kids don’t miss a beat. They watch us. They see how we act, in real time. We set an example whether we want to or not. We might as well make it count.