I came across a TED talk from 2010 today entitled “Everyday Leadership” by Drew Dudley.
His talk is based on an interesting premise.
I worry sometimes that we spend so much time celebrating amazing things that hardly anybody can do, that we’ve convinced ourselves those are the only things worth celebrating. We start to devalue the things we can do every day.
Dudley goes on to tell a story from his college years. He was talking to incoming students and happened to spark a conversation between a young man and woman. The young woman had felt very unsure about if she was ready for college, and was looking to quit.
Her interaction with Dudley helped to break the tension.
And in another twist of fate, the young woman would go on to date (and later marry) the young man Dudley had introduced her to.
And he had no idea!
It wasn’t until graduation when the young woman approached Dudley and told him about that moment (which he didn’t even recall). None of them could have ever imagined at the time, but that would be one of the most significant days in that young woman’s life.
We never know the impact that we have on people. We never know how a seemingly small event can be a boulder in a pond that sends the water ripping throughout the rest of our lives.
We do tend to idolize the people who are at the top who are really “making a difference” and overlook the life changing impact we can have on those with whom we interact on a daily basis. And if influencing one person isn’t something we can appreciate as being special and transformational, then why would we deserve to influence many?
To influence one is to influence many because the one person impacts lives who impact lives. The ripples continues to form.
Some moments are big moments and we know they’re big moments at the time. Getting married. Other moments are big moments that we didn’t necessarily realize were big moments when they happened (initially meeting that person who would become your spouse). May we appreciate the beauty of the “little” things.
Josh Benner is the associate pastor at Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church in Fergus Falls, Minnesota and has a Master of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He enjoys writing about faith and culture. He lives with his wife Kari in Minnesota.