Difference makers — more than a job

As fall approaches, it’s time for football practices to begin, and schools will be starting up soon.  There is no doubt that Coach Cumbie (La Tech) and Coach Jackson (GSU), along with the various high school and middle school coaches in Lincoln Parish, will be looking for difference makers on the field.  Difference makers are those players that step out and do something extraordinary to change the direction of a game.  Every team needs difference makers on the field to have a successful season.  

Similarly, with school about to start across the parish, we need to recognize and remember all those difference makers in education.  These difference makers are the ones investing in the young people of Lincoln Parish all the way from the preschool programs through our community college and universities.  These teachers, aids, and resource personnel have such an opportunity to be difference makers in the lives of young people.  I don’t know that we can recognize and appreciate them enough for the work they do. In addition, let’s don’t forget the bus drivers, custodians, cafeteria workers, office personnel, administrative staff, and others for the roles they play in making this difference. Every job matters in education, and every role can make a difference.

It’s a great reminder that all of us can be difference makers in some way in our sphere of influence.  We can all have a life that adds value to others and makes others better.  Consider these thoughts as you consider how you can be a difference maker:

  • Be Prepared:  Be sure you are prepared mentally, emotionally, and physically to act when needed.  You must invest in yourself to have something to share with others.  Read, listen, meditate, exercise, and do other things that will enable you to take care of yourself, so you are in a position to invest in others.  You can’t invest what you don’t have.  
  • Be Aware:   Watch for opportunities, particularly in difficult situations.  Similar to a football game, difference makers step forward in critical circumstances.  Try not to get so caught up in the busyness of the day that you miss these opportunities.  Don’t back away from the opportunity.  Seize the moment!
  • Be Intentional:  While many opportunities to make a difference come unexpectedly in the course of a day, we can deliberately seek out opportunities as well.  Go into each day with a plan to have a specific conversation, send a text, make a call, perform an act of service, elevate another, encourage another, or any number of intentional acts that we can do in our day.

Just like Coach Cumbie and Coach Jackson will be looking for players to be difference makers, our communities are looking for people to step out and be difference makers.  There is nothing more fulfilling than making a difference in the life of someone else.  Take that challenge.  


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