- On November 18, 2014
I recently attended a ceremony honoring a friend who retired from the Army after 28 years of service. It was a moving tribute to the impact this woman had on others over her long career. Family, friends, and colleagues flew in from around the country,
During the ceremony, several leaders–from a university president to an Assistant Secretary of Defense–shared highlights of her career.
But by far, the most impactful were the memories shared by a Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) whom she had worked with more than 15 years ago. His heartfelt and humorous story emphasized the lasting impact she had on his life and on his own leadership.
At the end, I was touched by how lucky we would be if we could all have an opportunity like this to know we are valued and have made a positive impact on someone.
What a shame that most people only get that kind of recognition on how their lives have held value and had a positive impact on others at their own funeral ceremony, when it is far too late for them to enjoy the appreciation.
Can you think of someone who impacted you fifteen, or even ten, years ago? Or maybe even in the last year?
Have you ever told them what their interaction in your life meant to you going forward?
They might not even realize the long lasting impact they had on you. But I guarantee, telling them will put a smile on their face. And they will stand taller knowing that something they did is being valued all this time later.
The most important gift you can give to someone is to value who they are.
Send them a note. Give them a call. Reconnect.
Pay it backward…While it will still make a difference.