Archive | May, 2011

Nostalgia and Impact

14 May

As I recently stated on twitter, I am a sucker for nostalgia. Oddly, this time of year is one of the more sneaky-difficult ones for people like me. Everyone starts to tear up occassionally at a Christmas party and a New Year’s resolution or two is commonplace. However, if you are in school, this is the time of year when students graduate. And I’m not just talking about those who are reaching those milestone years, but even a movement from first grade to second grade (like my son is going through) affords a big change. And when you are a teacher (as I have been), friends leave, students depart, and your classes the following year will never be exactly the same. It’s change, not like TV shows where classes can remain the same for years.

But as I look at these TV shows, this is also the time of year where they have season and series finales. And similar to life in general, even the movement from one season to another is not without change. Even the most stagnant TV shows ever experienced changes from one season to the next. But this is where I began to consider that TV shows are like people in our lives. Some of these shows come into our life for a brief time and we enjoy them, but we never really get attached, while others will forever alter the course of our thoughts, friends, and movement. Earlier this week, Fox announced that it would not renew three shows that I had started to watch–the Good GuysLie to Me, and Human Target. While I wasn’t excited about that news, Its effect on me was for a limited period of time. On the other hand, I am sucked into the ongoing changes to The Office and really wonder what will happen.

Now, I am somewhat excited by what I saw in the episode where Dwight Shrute was the Interim Manager, but I realize the show will never be the same.  Nevermind the fact that the most culturally significant sitcom of the last five years can’t seem to crack the top 50 in Nielsen ratings!

Nevertheless, this is where I got to thinking about how this is the kind of impact I want to make as a person. I don’t want to be the kind of person who is lumped in with some other people making a change and others are somewhat sad but within a year, I am easily replaced. I want to be the kind of person who when I make any change, major or minor, people are wondering what direction I am headed. I want the water cooler talk focused on if I am acting correctly. I want that kind of accountability, because I think it is accompanied by love, care, and compassion.

I’ve heard it said that people cannot be judged by the number of possessions they collect, but by the impact they make on the lives they touch. And this is what I want. Life is, unfortunately, a series of changes. I can’t avoid it. Just like the ending of SeinfeldFriends24Suite Life on Deck, or any other TV show cannot be changed by me, God’s plans in my life aren’t always with the consistency I would prefer. However, if I am faithful in where he has placed me, I think I can make the kind of long-term impact I am aiming for. Some people have come into my life for a short period, some for longer periods, and some forever, but I need to treat them all the proper way, if I want to maximize my impact. This may be a season of change and I may not like it, but as long as I can look back on this era with my head held high and know that I did all God wanted of me, I think I can live without regrets. And that may be the best way I can deal with change.