What would you do differently if you knew others were watching?

The sun sets over a set of "Big Eyes"...

My husband didn’t jump into entrepreneurship overnight. No, like an illness, the bug went through an incubation period prior to maturing to the point of full outbreak. During this period, he started taking classes on how to better understand the nuances of the stock market. How to recognize the patterns in price that might indicate a trading event, how to interpret industry jargon, and how to take control of our own portfolio.

Learning (Photo credit: CollegeDegrees360)

He drug me along to a few of these classes, and to this day I am not sure exactly how he managed to do that. They always followed a long work day and the very last thing I wanted to do after a day in front of the computer screen was listen to an instructor drone on about the importance of line charts.

I must not have been the only one to feel this way. While there remained a number of students in the room, there was not quite as many midway through the course as had been there on day one. The instructor must have sensed that those of us in the room were feeling worn out and a little overwhelmed. He went off topic.

He told us about one of his prior students. She had come in and sat quietly night after night, hardly noteworthy. After the end of the class she had written him. She wrote that she was a mother in an abusive relationship. She had signed up for the class almost on a whim. Each night she watched as those around her scribbled notes and listened to her neighbors dream of a better future. She realized that she too had a chance for that future. She gained the courage to remove herself and her child from a dangerous situation.

He mentioned this particular story only to illustrate how each of us have the ability to inspire others whether or not we are aware of their interest. It was his way of motivating us to buckle down and see the course through.

My mother-in-law cross stitched a poem that at one time hung in my husband’s room and now hangs in our son’s.

A careful man I ought to be,
A little fellow follows me.
I dare not go astray,
For fear he’ll go the self-same way.

I cannot once escape his eyes,
Whatever he see me do, he tries.
Like me, he says, he’s going to be,
The little chap who follows me.

He thinks that I am good and fine,
Believes in every word of mine.
The base in me he must not see,
That little fellow who follows me.

I must remember as I go,
Thru summers’ sun and winters’ snow.
I am building for the years to be,
In the little chap who follows me.

by Rev. Claude Wisdom White, Sr

There are days when being in business for yourself (or trying to establish yourself as a writer) isn’t easy. Days filled with such negativity that I know my husband is tempted to shut his doors for good, or for me to completely walk away from the computer. At least for now, we’ve chosen to continue on.

I like to believe that as a result, our children will grow to be even more determined, less likely to accept the status quo, and more willing to chase after their own dreams. But I do sometimes wonder who else might be watching and hope that the decisions we make are worth it.

Inspiration can have a domino effect, but what is amazing is that most people don’t realize how many pieces in the chain they have touched. Sometimes even when you think you are teaching one thing, there is a far greater lesson being learned.

The woman didn’t have to share her story, but I am glad she did. I occasionally think back on that woman who was able to learn how to take control of her life when the rest of us were just trying to learn how to take control of our finances and hope that she remained strong.

Original caption: I decided to see if I could ...
Original caption: I decided to see if I could catch the motion of Dominos falling. It took me ages to get the timing right (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
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2 thoughts on “What would you do differently if you knew others were watching?

  1. What would I do … ? Certainly not what they do on those reality shows! The poem is a lovely one. I think I’ll hang it in my children’s room even though it’s applicable to grown ups as well.


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