You count more than you think
Richard, manager for a restaurant chain in Yakima, Washington, told Session 4B of the Leadership Development Lab:
"In March 2002 I was a junior at Lincoln High School in Tacoma, Washington, and was not sure what I wanted to do next with my life. I thought about the Air Force and even took a tour of Fort Lewis in Washington. Another idea was to go to college. This was a pretty radical, out-of-the -box idea for me. No one in my immediate or extended family had gone to college. In fact, my older brother followed my father's example and didn't get past the ninth grade. My high school had just been approved for the Bill Gate's Achievers program which provides scholarships for high school graduates that would otherwise not be able to go to college due to their family's financial disadvantages. My grades and high school achievements, along with our family's status, made me eligible. I nervously took the first step by applying. I was surprised and excited when I learned that I was approved for the scholarship. That summer I checked out several colleges and found a school I loved – Central Washington University. The second step in my plan was complete. I applied and was very excited the day I found out that I had been accepted as a student there. The third step was now complete. After I graduated from high school, I started college in the fall of 2003, my first year at CWU.
"After my freshman year, something happened that I certainly never would have expected - my mom decided to go back to school and get her massage
therapist license. That same year, my sister who had had a baby at 16, graduated from high school and started attending Clover Park Technical College. My third year in college, my youngest sister graduated from high school. The year that I graduated from college with a BS in nutrition / food service management, my sister graduated from Clover Park with her AA, and my younger sister had started school for massage therapy and finished with her license shortly after.
"The lesson I learned from my experience is that the actions I take affect the decisions others make. Even when I don't realize it, others are watching me and making decisions that will affect the rest of their lives. I have had a greater influence and impact on their choices than I had realized. The action I call you to take is think about everything you do. Others are watching you, and your efforts and actions will and do affect another person's life. The benefit you will gain is an inner joy and satisfaction because you moved someone to make a positive choice and change in their life. This will be the source of true joy and purpose in your life."
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