10-23-17 Make People Remember

Can you remember exactly when you first met one of your friends?

Do you remember when a teacher or mentor entered your life?

What makes these people memorable?

Maybe they have charisma. Maybe they accomplished something alongside you. Most likely, they have impacted your life for the better.

I am going to tell a story, but I don’t want it to seem like I am bragging on myself. I want to show the power that we each have to impact the life of another.

During my junior year of high school, there was a kid named Jesse who always sat by himself at the lunch table next to where my friends and I sat. Jesse is a student with special needs and he always had a paraprofessional sitting with him at lunch, so he was never completely alone. After watching him for a couple days, I noticed that he seemed lonely, so I asked if he wanted to come and sit with us. At first, Jesse took time to adjust to our group, but he gradually grew comfortable being himself around a bunch of new people. Jesse is hilarious. He made me laugh every day with some joke that he had on the top of his head. Jesse sat with us the rest of the year at lunch, but I didn’t see him as much my senior year. Seniors sat in a different cafeteria in my high school and our schedules didn’t match up so I didn’t see him too often. I still ran into him here and there in the hallway and he had a joke ready to make me laugh.

Graduation parties are a huge deal in Illinois, but I know that isn’t the case everywhere. For 2 months from May to July, everyone graduating high school hosts a party for friends and family. To give you an idea, every year Austin and I went to 6-10 graduation parties every weekend from the end of May through June. At these graduation parties, people give graduates cards, play yard games, and look at pictures of the graduates growing up. Most normal people have 1 picture board per person graduating, my mom made 6 for Austin and me. Somewhere at the party, there is a blank book where friends can write notes to each other and share nice things that they remember from high school.  I invited Jesse to my graduation party because we became pretty good friends.

After the graduation party was over, I went through the blank book at my house to see what people wrote about me, but I wasn’t sure what to expect. I came across a page with a note from Jesse, “If you didn’t sit by me at lunch that one day 2 years ago, I wouldn’t be at your graduation party.” This note still makes me emotional because Jesse remembered the exact moment when we met each other.

Each of us has the power to change the life of someone else. We can each show so much love and care that people will remember the exact moment we entered their life. We can be the people who enter the life of someone who needs a friend, or just to be loved and cared for.

Who are you going to be this week? Are you going to stand out and make people remember you for making their lives better?

Make People Remember.

Make a sum: add to the lives of those around you, don’t take away from them.

-JP

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