You Have More Influence Than You Know


My in-laws live on a beautiful lake and, as you can imagine, we try and visit as much as possible. Recently I was sitting on the dock just after dawn, not because I'm a morning person, but because The Dog thinks his job is to retrieve every hour of daylight when we visit.  I had my cup of tea, the water was calm, and I was secretly glad to have early morning fetch duty. I was enjoying Mack's energy, enthusiasm, and near-perfect form.

However, the best part of the morning was when I spied a group of 8(ish)-year-old boys making their way down the dock. They were barely specs on the horizon, but I swear I could see they were still in their p.j.'s.

I suppose excitement wakes up more than dogs!

I lost the posse as they wandered into the boat house, but before long I heard a distinctive roar - as in a kid screaming, "ROOOOAARRRR!!"

Based on the raucous laughter,  roaring is a hilarious experience for a group of boys.

Each kid took turns making the most outlandish roar they could muster. Laughter ensued each and every time. I don't believe they had a natural stopping point for the game.

They didn't scream other words or try any other animal sounds (Mooing like a cow would feel so juvenile, no doubt!). The noise echoed around the boat house and, since sounds amplify across calm water, carried across the lake.

This game continued for 15 minutes. I wasn't awakened by the festivities, just entertained. Based on the fast-moving parent going into the boat house a few minutes later, not everyone was amused.

Sometimes, aren't we all like those kids?

We get with friends and get carried away in our own world, not thinking we're disturbing others? Or maybe we think our words don't carry very far, and our influence will be muted by our environment?

But our voices DO carry, even when we're unaware. Our words will always fall somewhere along the positive/negative spectrum.


I want to be aware of how I'm using my voice. I want to be conscious of how sound carries and that my words will leave others better or worse for being near me.

Today, I want to guard my tongue, especially since I don't know who's listening.