Back in 2002, author George Grant gave me two Moleskine journals. He told me he had carried them for years to record thoughts and quotes from books he read. I began carrying one and writing in it.
I soon became frustrated though because my handwriting was so bad. I didn’t like the way my writing looked on the page. It seemed to detract from the profundity of some of the quotes (weird, I know).
So, I decided to relearn cursive writing. I bought some handwriting books and began retracing letters, just like we all did back in grade school. It took weeks, but as my handwriting was being transformed I began to appreciate the beauty of cursive lettering as an art form–which, by the way, it is (calligraphy).
As a result of this newfound appreciation, I finally pulled out a Montblanc fountain pen my wife bought me a few years prior but which I had not even inked (stupid, I know). I soon developed a love for fountain pens, which I now use almost exclusively and have been collecting ever since…and all this can be traced back to George Grant buying me my first Moleskine journal.
It is easy to forget that most of what we do affects the people around us. We rarely consider that we influence others because it is rare anyone ever tells us how we have influenced them. Do you ever tell people how something they said or did affected you? I never told Dr. Grant about how he influenced me, and this was just one of the many ways he has influenced my life. As a result, we can stumble through life thinking our lives an island, when really they are are stones tossed into the pond of humanity.
Jesus said to His followers, “You are the light of the world. A city set upon a hill cannot be hidden.” Influence is inevitable. The only issue is whether the influence you exude will be positive, negative or something in between. Perhaps that is why Jesus said, “…every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for in the day of judgment.” Even careless words can have a tremendous influence.
So, here is the good news: you are influential. And here is the bad news: you are influential. Your life is creating a ripple in the pond of humanity. Make it count for the better. GS