The book, The Man Who Makes A Difference written by Jim George inspires Rosemary Apon, Asst. Prof. Commerce to reflect upon the impact our lives can have on others. An important question asked is: How can we make a difference with our lives? As for the Nagas, we are a diverse community of the upcoming private entrepreneur, the secure government employee, the powerful politician and alongside them the agriculturalist and daily wage earner. Notwithstanding the kind of professions we are in - a teacher, farmer, politician, businessman, student or housewife - all these require accountability and are avenues through which we can be a shining role model for others.
Making Our Lives Count
An individual is recognized by who he or she is. Each person’s profile consisting of habits, principles and beliefs determines who an individual really is. For instance, as a teacher I have a specific profile. If you were to look at my life as a teacher you will see that I fit into a certain category of teaching endeavour and promotion of child development. Similarly, all professions such as writer, pastor, speaker, teacher or student also shape a certain profile. Every profession or area of work has a specific profile.
Do we ever stop to think about our profile? Do we wonder if our life has created a lasting impact? If someone were to take a long look at our life what would they see? And what if they were to publish their findings about us? What characteristics would they report about the pattern of our life? What kind of qualities and habits would be present for whoever goes through it? How or in what way are we impacting the lives of others?
We can see from the life of Paul the apostle, that he was neither a well built nor a good looking person but the work that he did throughout his lifetime has influenced so many people even to this day. The lives that we lead have great impact even after we are long gone. The profile that we make during our lifetime is the most important of all. However, making a good profile is not easy as it is counted through our everyday living.
No man lives in a vacuum. We are all influenced and impacted by persons or things around us. Every one of us can point to someone or something that shaped our life in some way or other. Undoubtedly, our parents have contributed a lot towards making us the person we are today, but beyond that there is always someone or the other who has impacted our life to a great extent in every direction of our life. They can be our teacher, country leader, coach or pastor.
For instance, America has had many kinds of presidents but the name of President Abraham Lincoln is well known to one and all. His contributions made towards the society and his role in helping to abolish slavery have made him stand out from other presidents. That’s the kind of profile he made for himself. Another famous personality - Mahatma Gandhi is known to everyone young or old as the ‘Father of the Nation’. His love for peace and non-violence and the sacrifices rendered for the welfare of the people in India is a noteworthy example of an influential profile. The simple life that he led has influenced so many people around the world.
For some, it may not just be a person that influenced their life but it can even be a life altering experience such as a brush with death at the time of duty or maybe a life threatening illness. History has shown us that influence isn’t about numbers, but about individuals with a passion, a focus or intensity or all of these that drive us forward. Most men of influence down the centuries have been influenced through a crises, cause or mandate. So then, as every individual is always influenced by one thing or other, we also need to have goals in our lives. Each person’s goals will be different from the other. We just need to set it.
Goals help us develop a streamlined life; they help us drive each day of our life and display the stewardship of life. They also help us design a life of influence. To portray a life of influence we need to achieve excellence in whatever we do. As we set our goals, we need to strive for excellence. Excellence simply means giving our best. Many of the world’s greatest people were committed to excellence because they saw their life as stewardship. An example can be cited from our very own state. The renowned personality and sportsman, Dr. T Ao was the first Naga to play football at the international level. His story is inspiration for the younger generation even today.
Our life is full of choices. Each day we choose what we will or will not do. Are we supposed to do the same thing every day? Or give it a change. Are we supposed to use our free time to work for some social cause or just keep watching television? Do we want to make a difference or continue to remain just as we are. The choice is ours to make. Each one of us has a role model in life that we try to emulate, whether it’s their values, the way they eat, drink, walk or dress. Can we be the same for someone else?
Reference: George, Jim. The Man Who Makes A Difference. Harvest House Publishers. 2010
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