Your Influence is the Biggest Change

September 11, 2008
By
A hero is someone you look up to and strive to be like. I have been trying to figure out the characteristics for a hero ever since I started reading the book The Odyssey. Odysseus was the hero in that book, and he sparked my thinking for what a real hero is. Some of his heroic traits are bravery, cleverness, and strength. My hero is all of that, but I think she has something else Odysseus did not have. A trait was missing, but I couldn’t place what the trait was until I talked to my own hero, Vicky. I asked her what a true hero is, and she pin pointed it perfectly. She simply answered, “Someone who is selfless.” That is what makes Vicky my hero; she is a strong believer in her faith, selfless and has a love for everyone.

I have known Vicky the past three years. Her daughter, Ali, is my best friend. Over the past three years, Vicky came to know Jesus as her savior, and she has been an inspiration to me as I grow in my faith. Vicky lives everyday in love and tries to have joy in whatever she does. Another thing I strongly admire about Vicky is that she can just go with the flow, like sometimes she misplaces her keys, but she does not freak out about it. Going with the flow of things is not always easy for me. I worry quite a bit. Her day might take a stressful turn; nevertheless, you will still see her smiling. Vicky trusts that everything is going to be all right and I try to emulate that thought process. Jesus changed her life so that she could live with peace in her heart no matter what was going on around her. She said herself that since she has gotten to know Him her views, and the way she lives has totally changed. “Know the Lord, really know the Lord. That is the only way you will get through tough times,” Vicky told me.

Jesus died for us so we could live. Not only did he die for us he went through immense amounts of torture. If that isn’t selfless I don’t know what is. Vicky said that a true hero is a selfless one, and that is what makes her a hero. Vicky and her family opened up their house to our church on Sundays in the beginning of last September until about March. It started at about thirty people coming every Sunday, and in March the number had climbed to about fifty. Some people would have thought of that as an inconvenience, not their family though. They loved having everyone over. That shows what a welcoming heart the family has. Another thing I will always remember is whenever I would spend the night over at Vicky’s house she would wake up and make Ali and I breakfast. It wasn’t just Eggo waffles in the toaster though. It consisted of pancakes, fruit, scrambled eggs, bacon, and more. She took time out of her morning to make us this big meal just because she loves us.

Loving and compassionate are two words that define my hero. Her job is dedicated to loving kids and helping them out. She works for Kid’s Voice, an organization that helps children who do not have good home lives like abusive parents, alcoholic parents and so on. Her job is to love the kids who have never felt loved before. She develops a relationship with the child that she is working with. Vicky finds out what is best for the child and represents him or her in court. In her job she does her favorite thing which is to serve. She is not only serving the kids but also serving God.

Vicky has passion for her faith, serving the people around her, and loving the ones who have never been loved. You can see all these hero characteristics in her just by spending the day with her. Her wisdom is another one of her hero traits that I have yet to mention. She has this quality in common with Odysseus. Odysseus was wise and told his men not to open up the bag of wind. Odysseus had to make other wise decisions like choosing to go between Scylla and Charybdis. By choosing to go by Scylla he only lost six men. If he would have went by Charybdis he would have lost them all. Vicky gave me wise advice that I will never forget. She said to me, “You can’t change people. You can only influence them”. I think people get caught up in telling other people what to do and not thinking about what they are doing. I do it sometimes, I think we all do. Ever since I heard this I have come to the conclusion that the most important thing to do is just be myself. God works through us in amazing ways, most of the time we do not see it until after he has already worked through us. By just being me I am making an impact and just by being you, you are making an impact. For example I can not just tell someone to stop being hateful and expect that to stop them. I can only influence that person by loving people. People will make there own choices, but by just being yourself you can influence them. Vicky was herself and impacted my life in an enormous way. Be yourself and you will be surprised how much you impact someone. You just might end up being someone else’s hero.





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