There’s an island of bushes in the middle of a parking lot in White Oak. Every time I’m there, I see the bushes and immediately think back to a memory I have from high school.
For whatever reason, my friends and I were hanging out in that parking lot one night (we were clearly too cool for our own good) and the next thing I know, my friend pushes me into said bushes.
Well, these were no ordinary bushes. They don’t have those flimsy limbs that bend back and forth with the wind.
No, they’re stiff.
So stiff that, when my friend pulled me out, the branches didn’t go back to their rightful position.
You guessed it.
There, in the middle of the Moe’s Pizza parking lot, was an imprint of my body in the bushes.
Now, it was no chalk outline or snow angel, but it was obvious the imprint had been made by a human being (yours truly).
Well, the other day I parked near those same bushes and found myself remembering that night. I smiled and shook my head as I pictured my friend pushing me into the bushes and then pulling me back out.
NEVER MIND MY SCRATCHES. MY BODY INDENTATION WAS IN THE BUSHES.
I’m sure you can imagine the laughter that erupted when my friends and I first noticed. Had I known my body would be leaving a mark in the bushes, I would’ve struck a pose and made sure the mark I made was a good one!
As I replayed the scene in my mind, I couldn’t help but think about how the imprint I left in the bushes that day is a lot like the imprints we leave in the lives of those around us every single day.
Jane Goodall quoted, “You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”
I did not intentionally leave my mark in the bushes, it just happened.
In the same way, we don’t PLAN to make a mark on others, it just happens.
Sometimes we leave small marks, sometimes we leave big ones…but, contrary to belief, the size of the mark we make is not what matters.
It’s that we made a mark at all that matters…a POSITIVE mark, that is!
Think about all the people who have made a positive mark on your life. There may be several that come to mind! How did they impact you?
Did they encourage you to DREAM BIG?
Did they teach you to respect and value yourself, and to NEVER SETTLE for anything or anyone?
Did they show you what it looks like to love WITHOUT limits?
Did they impart WISDOM and INSIGHT on you while you were growing up?
Did they challenge you to BE YOURSELF no matter what the world says about you?
Did they lend you a LISTENING EAR every time you needed someone to talk to?
Did they put a smile on your face regardless of your circumstances?
Now think about the mark you make on others.
Because we are constantly influencing those around us, every little thing we do is of utmost importance.
Remember, we “fall” into “bushes” (OR GET SHOVED…BUT WHATEVER) unintentionally every day.
As I mentioned earlier, I would’ve struck a pose on the way down had I known I’d be making a mark in those bushes! Likewise, there will be times in our lives when we’ll find ourselves wishing we’d made a more meaningful impact in the lives of those around us!
We’ll think to ourselves, “If only I had been more aware of the impact I was making!”
Be mindful of the influence you have on your friends, family, co-workers, students, or even STRANGERS.
Choose TODAY the type of mark you want to leave on the lives of those you come into contact with.
Make sure the mark you leave is a good one!
After all…those marks last a lifetime!