Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
- Leo Buscaglia

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Tracking Down An Important Influence

     Over the past 25+ years, I've been involved with a large number of  non-profit community organizations, volunteering, raising money, and serving on Boards - often in a leadership capacity.  Being such an active community volunteer is not something that I grew up seeing.  Rather, it was something I learned only after getting "drafted" into the fold by others who were already actively engaged.  In particular, I'll always remember one specific man who saw potential in me as a 24-year old new business person in our town and invited me to join an organization of which he was a part.
     This man retired and moved away from our town 10 or 15 years ago.  I've often thought about him and wished I had the opportunity to thank him and let him know how much he influenced the course of my community life.  Yesterday I decided it was time for me to track him down somehow and thank him personally.  I began making calls to those I thought might know where he went and/or might have his current contact info.  Before long, I had a phone number for him in Florida.
     This morning, I called this man and we had a great time recalling the past events and people.  He was so appreciative that I would call to let him know the influence he had, and he seemed truly touched.  I'm so glad I made the effort to find him and connect with him.
     I imagine that many of us have people in our lives who may have even unwittingly played an important role in our development, and for that matter, we have each probably significantly influenced others in ways that we may not be aware.  How great it would be to hear from people like these.  And maybe more importantly, it reminds me that we never know who we may be influencing and how.  That thought keeps me more focused on making sure that I'm as positive an influence on all those around me as I can be.

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