People Go, Their Impact Stays

Photo by Julia Kuzenkov from Pexels

I remember that South Florida, Sunday afternoon as if it were yesterday. 

I met a husband-and-wife volunteer leader team at my church’s youth group. I was a junior in high school at the time. Jose, the husband, was from Portugal and spoke with a delightful accent. The kind that makes you pay close attention. His smile was contagious. He invited me and a friend to have lunch with him and his wife at the beachside home they were housesitting. 

After lunch, as we walked on the sand, Jose pulled me aside and handed me a cassette tape. On it was a motivational talk that would help establish my mindset and attitude for the rest of my life. Jose said, “You listen to this guy talk and take in what he says. His name is Zig Ziglar.” 

I had never heard of him, but when I put that cassette into my portable player, I was drawn in by Zig’s drawl and humor. He talked about having a positive attitude and goals that matter. After listening to him speak, I just wanted to BE better. I listened to that speech over and over and over. Positivity became ingrained in my mind.

Through the years, I’ve heard Zig speak via audio and video recordings and in his books. He became a “mentor from afar.” Several years ago, not far from the spot where I got that tape, I saw him speak in person. It was a thrill. 

After that day on the beach, Jose moved on and disappeared from my life as quickly as he came. His impact stayed. 

Zig Ziglar passed away in 2012. His impact remains.  

I believe people come into our lives for reasons and seasons. Like the popular song, “For Good,” from the musical, Wicked, says, “we are changed for good.” 

I thank God that Jose cared enough to give me a tape. A simple thing that continues to serve me well 40 years later. It was what I needed at that time in my journey. 

“When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” ~ Mabel Collins in Light on the Path

Our lives have impact. You don’t have to be a Zig Ziglar. You can be you. 

We’re all on this journey to help each other get further down the road.