So this year I graduated and had my graduation party the day after the ceremony. I was really nervous that no one would come even though my mom made sure that I invited EVERYONE around it seemed. She would think of someone, find their address and I would send off the invite. One last minute invitation was sent to my 2nd grade teacher who retired while I was still in elementary school. I received a very thoughtful card and book from her today. She wrote a message on the inside of the book which reads:

June, 2013
Congratulations on your high school graduation, Ashley–
May your book of life have many, many chapters and included in it may there be:
imagination and creativity, hard work, perseverance and determination, optimism, positive role models and positive role modeling, understanding and support, a value of relationships over materialism, humility, the fulfilling of your dreams, as well as, helping others fulfill theirs, honesty, organization, planning and preparedness, encouragement, inspiration, earnestness, compromise, teamwork, the supporting of words with action, taking leaps of faith, gratitude, loyalty, being apologetic and forgiving, flexibility, reliability, sacrifice, courage, the ability to love and be loved, and a deep faith in God as a foundation.
Best wishes for the future to one of the sweetest students I taught at Washington School.
_______________- your second grade teacher

This message really left me thinking. This is a person who I have not talked to since 6th grade when I was with my family dropping off a gift to a great teacher. I have not seen her since then. There has been no communication between us. Yet she still felt “close enough” to me to write a very sweet and thoughtful message. She also taped my 2nd grade school picture and a biography written by one of my classmates back in 2002 into the inside of the book. On top of all of this she also gave the book with a card with a long and thoughtful message in it as well.

Impact. Such an important part of life. Impact can be for the good and for the bad. You may make a solid first impression and then turn out to be a total jerk, but you have impacted someone elses life in some way. They will remember you. They will remember what you did. They can sense your values. They can get a vision of you in their head which will stay with them forever.

I left some sort of image on my second grade teacher. She remembers me as a caring individual. Not a jerk. She remembers my sense of adventure and compassion. Not the mishaps I caught myself in at the playground. She remembers the good. I impacted her life somehow. She cares. I care. I think that this is so vital in life. I am so happy to be able to look back and remember the good times of grade school because of my teachers and the knowledge that they had to share, whether it be about math and english, or civility and politeness. They impacted my life in more than excellent and memorable ways. Clearly I was able to do the same to some of them even as a young and innocent child.

My grad party brought a lot of emphasis on who I have impacted in my life. I realized who’s lives I changed/altered for the better. And the worse. Some of the people who didn’t make it I know that I have not left a good image on them. Their perception of me may not be positive. They may view me as someone who imposed myself into their life. They may not view me as a nice person. Not everything anyone does will make a positive change in the way someone lives.

Everything happens for a reason and everything has its consequences. I am learning this everyday and learning from these experiences. Change is good. Change will help you grow as an individual if you let it. Let other people help change your life in a positive way and try to help change other people’s lives through your personal impact on them.


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