You Never Know The Difference You Are Making

in the lives of others. That lesson was clearly demonstrated to me yesterday. I’ve been teaching Security Management courses at Webster University both in the classroom and online for 15 years. While a few students have stood out over those years, most have blended in over time to names on a class roster.

A few weeks ago at the security conference I attend each year, I met a young man I thought I was meeting for the first time. But he shared with me that we had in fact met, in 2005 when he was a student in one of my Webster University classes held at Joint Base Bolling. I felt bad that I didn’t remember him, but as our conversation continued he thanked me for “changing his life” and shared that my passion for and commitment to the security management profession spurred him to “aim high” in his career as well.

In the nine years since the young man was in my class, he had indeed “aimed high” and achieved mightily!! He’s now a high ranking security person in the U.S. Capitol! Wow!! He offered to give me a “behind the scenes tour” of the Capitol and yesterday afternoon was the day we selected.

We met in the Capitol Visitors Center, which I confess I hadn’t been to previously (it opened a few years ago). The tour was simply fabulous and I was shown some amazing things!! Every person we passed, my former student introduced me as the “professor who had changed his life”. He seemed so proud to be showing me around his “fancy office building”, but not nearly as proud as I was of him!!

I thought a lot last night about the lives we all touch on a daily basis and how we may never know the impact we have on others!! I no longer feel bad about the fact that I didn’t remember my student because I did the job I committed to doing when I began teaching. I treat all my students the same and give the same level of energy and enthusiasm in every class. The fact that something I said or did during a class stuck with this student and pushed him to the level of success he’s achieved, thrills me to no end!!

How many lives will you touch today? We should all “aim high” in our interaction with others because you never know the difference you might be making in someone’s life!




6 thoughts on “You Never Know The Difference You Are Making

  1. What an amazing story. I hope you realize more of how many people you touch. My touch came 30 years ago and it is an amazing journey. Thank you for all the support and love. Memories will continue for an endless lifetime.

    • Tim, youre so awesome!!! You’ve touched many lives as well, and always leave a ladting impression on people, including me!!! We have so many more memories to make!!!

  2. wow, wow, wow!!!!!!!! That’s SO awesome!!!! I KNOW you will treasure that experience!!!! What an awesome gift! I agree with Daddy, you’ve touched sooooo many more lives than you may ever know! I can’t imagine the feeling you have when you KNOW you have done what you love and others have been inspired and carried on to fullfill their own passion. The pic of you with The Mall in the background is incredible!

    • Thanks Kim!! I do and will treasure it!! Amazing!!!! And we MUST take Kendal in a few years!! The visitor center is so interactive, movies & pics & pieces of actual history!!! I was on the tour for 90 minutes but it seemed like 10. A truly awesome gift!!

  3. Loretta, this post stirred tears. Your most poignant word for me was your intention to treat all students alike, matched by your commitment to pour out the same energy and enthusiasm in every class. That, for me, is a wondrous fulfillment of theoria matched by praxis; belief mated with behavior. Brava!

    • Thanks Paul! One of the things I’ve always shared with you is the impact you’ve had on my life and the lives of my family. I think it’s important to always let people know how they’ve enhanced your life. So I’m glad my student shared with me!

      It’s really kinda overwhelming when you realize that someone has heard what you said, taken it to heart, AND actually put it into practice. When I got back to my car after the tour, I was pretty emotional myself!!! Just bursting with pride in him and in myself!! And YES I learned long ago that as a teacher I MUST treat everyone the same. Sure I’ve had my favorite students over time, but they aren’t given special treatment. As for the energy, I know you get that because we are very similar in that way!! We are much like sports players, we leave it all on the court or field when we are working!! Thanks again!!

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