Yesterday, I was on the cash register when I saw an older man walk in the door. Gray hair, distinctive face, green plaid shirt–I recognized him immediately. At my old fast food job, he would come in several times a week with his wife and order salads. They would always sit to the left side of the room, in the first booth along the wall.
I wasn’t sure he would remember me. After four months? Doubtful…
But then, there he was, waving and smiling. “Hi! How are you? It’s so nice to see you?!”
I greeted him and then excused myself to the back because I was about to burst into tears on the spot. For the next customer, it went something like: “Your total is *sniff* twenty dollars *blinks fast* and thirty-seven cents *sniff.*
Now why would an encounter with a previous customer generate that reaction?
Answer #2– Impact.
They say you never know what you’ve got till it’s gone. Or that you don’t know your real friends until all of them have been given a reason to walk away. True, true. But I would also say that you don’t know the impact you have until push comes to shove. Until something happens that shows what you really mean to people, and what they really mean to you.
What makes life worth it? Impact.
You might be over there like, “Pshaw. No one cares about what I do…”
I didn’t think so either….
So maybe you won’t have five thousand people at your funeral, or people tweeting and facebooking all over creation like what happened when Robin Williams died. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have IMPACT.
Siblings, I’m talking to you. Dads and Moms, I’m talking to you. Older kids in the group, I’m talking to you. Coworkers, classmates, bosses, subordinates, friends, distant relations, and neighbors, I’m talking to you.
Even strangers have impact…People will remember you, whether you screamed obscenities at them for cutting you off in your lane, or whether you left a twenty dollar tip so they could buy dinner.
Your kids will remember what you said when that ball went through the window…your brothers will remember the advice you gave them about dating…your neighbor will remember the day you helped to mow his lawn…
Legacy isn’t in a career, or in an inheritance….it’s in the people you share your life with, and who share their life with you.
That impact, for better or for worse, makes it worth it to live on this earth.
You think not?
How about this then….
Ok, ok. But seriously though…
Maybe in this life you won’t ever know the impact you had on a person. But is that going to stop you from trying?