Today has been a tiring yet exceptional day. I spent most of today at a conference listening Dr. Robert Brooks. He is a parent, educator and psychologist and he is passionate about promoting the mental and emotional well being of children. This morning he spoke to 2300 school division staff (I was a volunteer at that session) and this evening he spoke to a much smaller crowd of parents.
He spoke of empathy, 'charismatic' adults and self evaluation. He challenged us. He questioned us. He gave us a lot to think about. But the thing that has stuck with me is the question, "if asked, what words would your kids use to describe you?"
That one kind of hurts to think about. I know what words I would hope they would use but I am also truthful enough with myself to know that hope and reality sometimes do not meet. But this question combined with this theme of people of influence got me thinking.
Am I a person of influence?
I want to be. I would like to think that there are some people whose lives I have impacted in a positive way. Someone who would say that they are a better person for knowing me. And most of all I hope that I am a charismatic adult to my own children. Now, I'm not fishing for compliments here, I am truly wondering how I would be described. What kind of lasting impressions have I made? And are those the impressions I meant to make?
I know what I want to communicate through my words and actions. I have a pretty clear idea of the person I hope to be. Am I succeeding in making those hopes my reality? Sometimes yes but often times no. But I continue to try, to do better, to be more. And I think that is the key.
All of the people whom I have written about this week are just people. Real flawed human beings. They all taught me some extraordinary lessons about self worth, faith, determination and purpose. But they all also made it clear that no one is perfect, that they were still learning and growing too. That lesson of perpetual growth is one I really appreciate in this stage of my life. I revel in the fact that this Nichole, who I am today is not as good as it gets. Tomorrow I will be a better person as long as I am not afraid to face my short comings and work on improving them.
So at the end of this ramble I'm going to ask you, are you a person of influence? Are you the person you want to be?
If not, its not too late. Keep learning, keep growing.