Friday, January 17, 2014

Eternal Effects

Most people have had a teacher or leader that has affected them for good or bad, influencing their whole life. I've had many, but one that stood out during high school, a time that's hard for any young girl, was my Spanish teacher.

He taught Spanish and was the baseball coach. There were several of his players in the class that thought they were so cool, though they could hardly speak Spanish. I did well in the class, and those boys would try and take advantage of that sometimes or tease about it because they were stupid.

One day the teacher told me in front of the whole class, "One day, Liz, you'll go to college and meet boys who will appreciate that you are smart and like you for it. They'll treat you with respect. They'll be guys who deserve your attention. Some day you'll meet guys like that, hold out for them because they are out there." It shut those jocks up pretty quick, and they were nicer after that.

He was right. I married a guy like he talked about that appreciated that I am smart, that treats me with respect, and deserves my attention because he's like me. My teacher's words have never left me, but even more the potential he saw for my life and for me, the feeling of confidence he gave me helped a lot through the years.

I worked in a high school for several years, and I tried to instill in some of those girls the potential for a great life they had if they could just make it through the stupid high school boys. I told them to just hold on through the next year or two and then they would have their chance to really blossom and be appreciated. Post high school life is where our true selves can really live up to the best we can be.

Even if you don't teach a class, you can have this same influence on others. A kind word or gesture can buoy a person for years through hard times. You probably won't ever know the impact you have had on others, for better or for worse, but you can go forward trying to leave a positive touch on those you interact with.

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