I experienced a heart-warming moment this afternoon with our son, JP, and his girlfriend while visiting Arlington National Cemetery. We don’t often have a chance to be in the D.C. area and we took advantage of being here to pay respects to his former mentor, teacher and life-long friend.

JP met Robert L. Cosby on the first day of kindergarten class. Mr. Cosby was a faculty member at the Preparatory School our son attended.  He was  one of those teachers that always had a smile on his face and a kind word.  He ignited a room whenever he entered. The boys always flocked around him and wanted to be in his company.  It would not be unusual to see one of them hanging from Mr. Cosby’s biceps, while he used them as weights. Between coaching in the field and teaching in the classroom, his time was always at a premium.  Every kindergartener wanted him to be the celebrity guest at his birthday party.

What adults remarked about him is how he knew each boy by name in a school of 700 students and how he shook every one of their hands each morning as they entered the school. Little did I know how much he had made an impression on our son throughout the years. Upon his teacher’s passing, when JP was in 12th grade, he got a tattoo in Mr. Cosby’s honor.  It got me to thinking whether I’ve ever had that kind of impact on someone else’s life.  And, if I had not, what am I waiting for?

All too often, when we think of being a positive influence on others, we think that it has to be done in epic ways. It’s probably one reason we don’t take action.  We may feel that our accomplishments have to be far reaching like those of Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Jr. or Mahatma Gandhi when in fact, simple and ordinary ways are best. And, as in the case of Mr. Cosby, being consistent and doing something wholeheartedly is what leaves lasting impressions.  The key is in the showing up, in the taking action.

Don’t wait for a momentous idea to impact someone. Your action right now is important.  I’ve experienced this with blogs I write. Every so often someone will let me know how I’ve made a difference. I feel good about reaching out to find people I can help.  Also, I never imagined that the book I wrote, Agapanthus Rising,  would be of any consequence.  Yet, as with my digital business, I’ve received feedback on how it has changed someone’s life.  I’m grateful that I can light someone’s way, the way Mr. Cosby did.

This brings me to you. How do you hope to change your life or somebody else’s? Someone is waiting for you but if you’re not taking any steps, you can’t help. Have you asked yourself,  what am I waiting for?

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Photo is courtesy of Kyle Broad

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