Make an Impact, Leave an Impression

By Samantha McKenzie

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Dr. Maya Angelou

I walked into a cafe for lunch this week and saw this excerpt, written by the late Dr. Maya Angelou, nicely framed and mounted on the brick wall.

20160125_140154I read it over and over again, allowing the words to soak in and time to stand still on behalf of my starving soul. In hindsight, I realized that time was actually ticking away and hasty customers were maneuvering around me to get to the front of the line and onto their intended business.

I continued dissecting the short paragraph, realizing that the majority of its sentences began with the words, “I’ve learned.” What a privilege it is to learn something and to realize you still have a lot more to learn. Each sentence opened me up further.

What impressions are we leaving on others? In the midst of our busy days, long commutes and chatter, are we leaving anything behind? Are we connecting with our fellow man? Are we learning? Are we sharing more pain than hugs?

Long after I vacated the cafe, I thought about this message, its impact, and its incredible wisdom.

I want to take more time to congratulate others for their accomplishments. I want to press pause on the day and tell a friend how much their phone call meant to me or how the text they sent the other night left me encouraged …and hopeful. I want to give more hugs, more pats on the back, make stronger memories. I want, like the author said, to be that kind of person who makes you feel better, even the best.

I hope, for now and forever more, we make long-lasting impacts and life-long impressions on others.

Those framed words.

Hung on the exposed brick wall.

Gave me a feeling.

I’ll never forget.

How clever.

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