What qualifies significance? I want to do something significant or be someone significant, but what defines that? And where the hell is this stemming from you ask. Oh, you didn’t ask? Well I’m going to go ahead and tell you.

I just finished The Paris Wife by Paula McClain and I really think the impact books have on a person isn’t just the subject matter or writing style, but is partly due to your current life circumstances. Had I read this book just two months before I did, I wouldn’t have been as consumed by it. It would have taken me a few extra days to read it; I still would have thought it was well-written, given it 4 stars on Goodreads and that would have been that. But in my life situation when I first turned those pages, it really resonated with me in more than “just a book” way. I picked up on subtleties in certain passages that I otherwise might have paid no or little attention to. And it really made me think.

A little over a month before I read The Paris Wife, I read another book that hit me at a crucial time and sparked a lot of changes I’ve made/been making. That one (Ada’s Rules by Alice Randall) might have always sparked the idea but if I had read it even 6 months sooner, it would have stayed at an idea, not an action. I read it at a point when I was ready to receive the message.

Ok. Back to significance. Both of these books were significant to me, they inspired, made me re-evaluate, even made me change things that might seem small, but could change the course of the rest of my life. I want to do that for someone.

I know I’ve played significant, even life changing roles in multiple lives, but I want the random effect. (Don’t get me wrong, I want to be positively significant in the lives I’m in and do all I can for that and I don’t take my role in that for granted) I want someone who doesn’t know me personally or isn’t connected to me to WANT to know me because I inspired something in them; I potentially changed the course of their life.

I’m not in the arts/literature/music/sports/politics/breaking science field that a chunk of really significant people come out of. Often enough, I suppose, they don’t realize they’re going to be significant. MLK Jr. probably didn’t imagine he’d have a holiday (not saying I want that!). IF I were going to do something to reach the masses in no particular way connected directly to me,  I think it would be by writing a book. I’ve started 3 books but they’re never good enough for me, so it’s likely I’ll never finish and that’ll never happen.

I’m really OK with that, but I want to believe someone has seen me doing something good that has inspired them. I think I’m on my way there. I’ve heard numerous times (not to toot my own horn) that I am an excellent, patient, supporting girlfriend/band wife (not just from my boyfriend) and even that some couldn’t do what I do. I hope that can inspire them to try to be more patient, more supporting in their own relationships. I want to inspire by doing good, not by doing what they don’t want to do. Though, I’ve certainly been inspired to say “I’ll never do what they do” or “If I ever get that way…” and it really makes me accountable to not become that way, but I want to inspire good by doing good. If someone can see me as a girlfriend/wife/boss/employee/mother that they’d like to be more like, I might be indirectly reshaping a marriage, solidifying a job, molding a childhood, etc. If I can change just one random life for the better, maybe they’ll change one random life and so on. It’s something I’m shooting for every day with my actions and even if I never find out my life changing outcomes I’m perfectly content knowing I’m out there trying.

Have any books inspired you to change your life? Any random people you saw at a grocery store, a party, etc. that made you want to change how you were doing something?


About dawn of april

Figuring life and the "about me" out as I go :) In a nutshell: I work, go to school, run a women's book club, support the local music scene in Denver, and whatever else floats my boat at the time.
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One Response to Significance.

  1. I used to want to change the world, when I was in high school, because I had no idea what it meant to change the world. Really, everyone is changing the world everyday just by existing. But it may or may not be significant. I think you make a really good point that influencing one person’s life is important. If you can help one person, that is significant. It’s significant to them. Writing a book can definitely be significant on a bigger scale, but even having a blog that a few people read is something. I think what’s most important is that you help one person and, if you end up helping more, that’s great.

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