My sister is finally graduating from college tomorrow. After six long, torturous years, she will have a four-year degree. My mind is trying to figure out exactly how I should feel about this. I am excited for her that she committed to something and completed it. I am also proud because she has more endorsements than I would have ever thought about obtaining. However, part of me also realizes that it means I am getting older. You see, four years ago I graduated with an undergrad degree. Well, it was actually two degrees, but we won’t let that stop the story.
By this same token I have been out of high school for eight years now. Part of me is surprised that I have accomplished so much in those eight years. I think that I have lots of entertaining stories to share at my ten-year reunion. I may not have accomplished as much as some of my peers, but I have been through a bit. I may not have a corner office or have successfully launched my own company, but I have a list of things of which I am proud.
The other side of this story makes me consider how much more I could have accomplished if I would have only kept my nose to the grindstone instead of dedicating time to many adventures. For instance, two years after graduating from Emory & Henry College, I completed my graduate studies in accounting from Liberty University. That is something that kept me busy along with getting married and buying a house. Though life did not take me this direction, I would how much farther along in my accounting career if I would have worked the extremely long hours. Since graduation, my accomplishments are less numerical.
I was elected to serve on the town council and am still fulfilling my term to this day. I have helped launch a church plant and the church now owns property. In a world full of numbers, I cannot say that we have grown to a weekly attendance of two hundred. On a good week attendance is around fifty. On those rare occasions we hit seventy-five, I come close to losing my mind because so many people show up.
Though there are many things I have worked towards on the town council, I cannot say that we have brought in a grant for $500 million or any amount near that. We have applied for some and are waiting to hear back, but the numbers simply are not there. Yes, I feel like I have accomplished things through this, but there are no hard number to which I can attach my name.
It does make me grateful though that life cannot be measured solely by numbers. Yes, numbers are great and can be used as a measurement of life accomplishments, but they cannot be seen as the sole determinant of what is important. Rather, I have found it is the adventure along the way and the people you impact. I recognize that I will impact each and every person I come in contact with on my journey. For some, it may be a large impact and others it may be a miniscule level of impact, but the truth is the impact is always there. It is something that I have to constantly remind myself of because I want to leave a lasting legacy on those around me.
Do you think there is an emphasis placed on the numerical impact in this world? Do you keep track of numbers in your own life? Which has a large impact, a million dollar grant or ten changed lives?