There is something that drives me crazy about my father. He doesn’t finish sentences when he is speaking – especially when he has a lot on his mind or is in a hurry. He will say most of a sentence, maybe mumble the last word or two, then move to the next sentence. Drives me crazy.
What is worse is I caught myself doing the same thing. I asked my wife if she had ever heard me not finish sentences. She says I do it all the time. Why would I do that?
This past weekend, I was preaching at a church and heard my father’s voice and style. I have also found that I hold my hands in my lap the way my grandfather did. My love of reading a variety of books definitely comes from my mother.
It is almost scary to think of the subtle, non-intentional ways we influence our families and others. If we can be so influenced on the small, inconsequential things, what about the “big-ticket” items – how we treat other people or our attitude as we go through life?
Certainly, I am not naïve enough to believe that if we model correctly that nothing bad will ever happen. But what other choice do we have? What attitudes or habits do our children or friends pick up without our knowing?
I wrote this a while back but still think it may be true:
Every action alters the earth’s atoms
There are positive and negative actions
And the balance changes the world
So go change atoms with your actions. And even if something drives you crazy, it may carry on without your knowing it.