Lessons From Loss:Part V
I’ve lived a large majority of my life caring way more than I should about what other people think of me. This comes with a large price tag since this can impede your situations more than improving them at times. I was reminded today of an important lesson I was once taught a while back that people will be inspired or intimidated by you.
There’s no science behind it and you’re not sure of which category people will fall into until all is said and done . They’ll either see you and aspire to be more or they’ll attempt to put out any light you offer the world . In that moment, I was reminded of my dad’s often too direct approach of giving advice. Whenever I allowed someone else’s issues to dictate my actions , his advice was essentially “well,forget them”. His words weren’t nearly as eloquent and were laced with curse words but I got the point
It also reminded me that I was put on the earth to impact people and not to impress the masses . Sometimes we’re called to do certain things in our life that put us in awkward and uncomfortable positions but how bad do we want to honor our gift? We have gifts that challenge us to see if we really want it so much that we’re willing to endure the negativity that some people are sure to serve up. We have to be reminded that our gifts won’t always align with the people around us and that’s fine. We have to remember that as long as you seek to impact people that impressing those who don’t matter should be the least of your worries.
Days like today I felt the urge to call my dad and seek guidance . It was rare that I felt this way in my past but I guess they’re right by saying you don’t miss what you have until it’s gone. If I had to reflect, he lived his life by the standards of impact versus impress. He never sought a life that looked good for other people. He never strayed from what he wanted to do because it wasn’t the status quo or what other people may have wanted for him.
If I had to be honest, he probably wanted more for himself than the world thought he deserved. He was from a place called Happy Hill which wasn’t so happy after all. I always told him that smoking would kill him in which he replied that being black would do that long before his beloved cigarettes did. He reminded me that people told him he wouldn’t make it beyond 21 and he graced the earth for nearly 52 years. I wonder what it’s like to life a life where death is always in your peripheral view and still choose to live each day. Even with this invisible weight, he lived his life on his own terms. Terms I didn’t always understand and some I didn’t approve of but they were his and his alone.
My vision of him was always clouded by past faults and tensions. Because of this, I never had a chance to get to the nitty gritty of who he was.I didn’t know that he was known around the school back in the day for his fresh sneakers. I didn’t realize he had been such a wise soul to his younger partner he worked with. I wasn’t aware that when asked why he took the job of a trucker who was often on the road that we were his main reason. He wanted better for us even if it meant not seeing him as much as a dad who had a regular 9-5. I never knew the impact of not comprehending these simple traits of his.
I don’t think I understood the lasting impact he made on people until he wasn’t here anymore. So many people were impacted by his passing and I was surprised to learn so much about him through the lens of other people. He didn’t follow the blue print and he didn’t do anything for the sake of others. He did what he had to do and that’s his legacy. That was the seed he was attempting to plant though my soil wasn’t ready to produce a harvest quite yet.
What haven’t you done because you’re worried about others ? How many dreams have you already rejected because you’re afraid of what someone may say? How many times have you told God no , not because you’re not ready but because you’re not ready to face the world ? Choose to live a life that impacts people because that’s what you were born to do. People will at times only be impressed with you temporarily. The time you sow into the world making it a place worth living is what matters most. Choose to be that person .
Choose a life that impacts people versus one chasing after the approval of people who don’t matter much. Live a life that inspires other people to want better, to do better, and to just live better.