Yesterday at work, I was coloring a picture (something I do 2-3 times a day), with a table of children, when one of "my" little kids looked up at me and said,
"Miss Nickel?" (so they all call me)
"Yes, Kayla," I answered.
"Miss Nickel, you know what I want to be when I grow up?" she asked.
"Um, a mommy..." I guessed.
"Noooo...try again." she replied.
I guessed until I had used every stretch of my imagination, even including some animals. Finally I had given up.
"I have no clue, Kayla, puhlease tell me."
"C'mon...When I grow up, I want to be...Miss Nickel!"
I looked up from my picture in surprise..."You want to be me?"
"Yep, I want to be just like you Miss Nickel!" she emphatically restated.
It really struck me as I sat mulling her words over in my head how much I play a part in these children's lives. How much of an impact, impression, or influence I may have on any person's life that I may come in contact with, whether it be on a daily basis, or just for a brief moment.
I began to think of people who have had an influence on me and probably not even known it. People, who are not people of great importance in this world, but people who, nonetheless, made an impact on me.
Take for instance my 5th-6th grade teacher. She pushed me to always reach for the stars, and that anything I put my mind to I could achieve. I learned that setting goals was a necessity for success in any area.
From my piano teacher I lwas taught that "Practice does not make perfect, only perfect practice makes perfect." I learned that if I wanted to get a piano piece down perfect I had to give it my all and practice it perfectly.
When I was in 7th grade most of the senior class picked on us to no end, and I was quite horrified of the lot of them. However, there was one girl who never stooped to the rest of their level, but instead was kind to me. I determined at the young age of 13, that someday when I was a senior I would treat the lower classmen with the same kindness.
That I would take secondary education with a major in English was due in part to a highschool English teacher who was so passionate about her field that I couldn't help but develop a love for it as well!
My junior high youth pastor taught two years on Christian manners. They are lessons that I will never forget. Lessons on how to treat your friends, family, and those you come in contact with.
I have been impacted by so many around me and I have recently found that even I am influencing others. You don't have to be a "person of influence" to be influential. In fact, the most influential people in my life are probably not even aware of the things they've taught me.