Updated: Aug 28, 2022
Think about all the people you have come across, and will likely come across, in your lifetime.
Most will fade, but some linger, leaving behind lasting impressions.
Different forms of interactions, some short-lived and transitory, while others involving more time spent… both instances leaving us feeling forever changed.
Recall those special few individuals, whose memory, for whatever reason, persist beyond others.
Can anyone predict the meaningful impressions certain individuals stand to make on us?
The impact these people had on our being may have been a product of who we were, then, or our circumstances at the time. Most genuine, soul-felt impressions catch us off-guard.
Their memory, vivid.
We are brought back in time, and nothing of the experience is lost. The mix of emotions, the smell in the air, the expression on their faces… every detail captured.
Leaving us forever impacted, touched, moved.
Yet these people are no longer part of our lives. They represent fragments of our past.
Some recollections are beautiful and bring joy, while others are painful, still.
Though the idea of forgetting is impossible.
These people, somehow interwoven into our pivotal moments, experiences that marked irreversible changes within us. We sometimes find ourselves wondering if whether we also brought about a change in those people. If the depth of impression was mutual.
I guess that’s one of life’s precious mysteries… never really knowing.
We each hold a hidden power to influence.
To leave someone watching, wondering as to what our story might be, or might have been.
We each, at some point, have ignited the supposedly unwarranted curiosity of onlookers, and have created lasting impressions on those we know, and those we may never actually meet.
There is nothing that more beautifully captures interconnectivity than these sudden, eclipsing and lasting impressions.
I’ve never thought of impressions as playing into connection or connectivity.
How could it not?
We often assume rapport and relationships when thinking about connections. Yet so many of the impressions that influence us involve people with whom we had neither rapport, nor relationship.
When thinking about the people who left an impression on us, who have marked us and changed our way of thinking, we begin to realize that connection and community is a much larger canvas than simply those we know by name.
Anyone who has played a role in shaping us, knowingly or unknowingly, has inadvertently inserted themselves into our community. Those we look up to, those we celebrate, those whose words left us inspired and filled with hopeful aspiration, are connected to us.
Or more accurately, we are connected to them.
Formalities were never a prerequisite to connection, and this extends itself to communities.
Impressions are the basis for connections, shifting and shaping perspectives, building themselves into our memories, powerful, changing the course of our actions and inactions.
We understate the number of people who make up our personal community, when we overlook the individuals, known and unknown, who impacted us. We undermine the depth of our personal interconnectivity, in forgetting that who we are and who we are becoming, are always informed by those with whom we have extended our energy and emotion to, regardless of the emotion.
Our community is more than the ones we’ve chosen.
Communities are founded on connections with all individuals who are interwoven in our thoughts, our reflections, and our psyche.
Whose opinions form the basis of our decisions.
Connections inform community.
Impressions inform interconnectivity.
So think about the number of people you have come across, and will likely come across in your lifetime.
Be mindful of your potential to inform their reality, and open to how they might inform your own.