Making a difference

freehighfivesLast week I went to a leadership workshop that they host at Muskingum for Greek students. The workshop focused on leadership and what really identifies a good leader.
A good leader is someone who inspires others, someone who challenges things and embraces change, someone who takes charge and–instead of doing all the work themselves–fosters these same leadership characteristics in others. The greatest leaders, in my opinion, are the ones who bring others to greatness.
In the course of this lecture on leadership, the speaker showed a video of a man who was giving free hugs. It was a really simple action, but it really influenced people. They smiled, they joined him, and he made a difference.
You don’t have to be a great leader to make a difference, but every great leader does make a difference.
I left the workshop feeling inspired to do the best that I can to influence others. I’ve always been the kind of person that likes to make people smile, and so I formulated a plan.
Yesterday some of my sorority sisters and I stood on the quad with a sign that read “Free high-fives” and gave people high-fives. We also handed out a slip of paper wishing each person well.
A lot of people gave us weird looks. Many asked why we were doing it. It took people by surprise when we told them that we had no ulterior motive. We just wanted to make people smile.
I learned a lot from such a simple gesture. It doesn’t take any large amount of power or prestige to make a difference. You don’t have to be well-regarded or influential. You don’t have to be a great leader.
You just have to care more about what you’re doing than what the world thinks of you. You have to commit and stay with it, even if you face some adversity.
Really, anyone can make a difference. And with that kind of attitude, you can inspire others to do the same.

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