Working toward an Observable Influence

Work toward an unobservable influence.

I attended a high school graduation on Saturday and was impressed by something unique.

Early in the ceremony the principal stood to address the class of over 300, and she began by saying, Would you please stand if you were involved in music, theater, or any of the arts while you were in high school. A sweeping percentage of students stood to their feet.

Would you please stand if you went to a play-off or to state for any activity. 

Would you please stand if you… 

Would you please stand if you… 

Would you please stand if you… 

Would you please stand if you… 

This recognition for different involvements went on, and I was shocked at the number of students who responded over and over again.

My daughter said, the principal always does this at school assemblies. It is her goal for every student to be able to stand for some kind of valuable involvement in his or her school and community.

I have attended three graduations in this school, and I have never seen such a demonstrable student involvement as I saw in this graduating class on Saturday. The school is only six years old, which means in that short space of time the principal has overwhelmingly achieved her goal.

I was left to marvel at the principal’s vision, obvious plan, and consistency to set this striking tone for an entire school.

“…those who plan what is good find love and faithfulness.”  (Proverbs 14:22 NIV)

This raises threequestions we can ask ourselves:

  • In what setting do I have influence in the lives of others?
  • What vision do I have for influencing those people in a positive way?
  • What specific, repeated action is required on my part, over the next several years, in order to make this vision reality?

Here’s what this means for me today: What repeated action is required on my part, if I’m going to get my son to hang up his wet towel in the bathroom every day, so that his future wife doesn’t hate my guts?

What does it mean for you?


  1. Christy! LOL, what a great application you unloaded at the end! Did not see that one coming. I was all “my husband the principal needs to read this for inspiration at his new middle school” until I saw the part about wet towels and busted out laughing. Excellent use of the unexpected. And point taken about faithful repetition to gain desired results.

  2. Excellent observation and questions. You have inspired me to be more careful with my words and actions today. We all have influence. We all have that ripple effect. We choose whether it is for good or bad.

    1. Yes -it just takes quite an effort to ripple on purpose in a certain direction.

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