A Transfixed Soul


My goal in life is to make a positive impact in the lives of people around me on a daily basic through sharing my skills and abilities. Today, I was able to accomplish this goal through facilitating an English club about volunteerism at a nearby village. When I entered the classroom I was thrilled to see a class full of children willing to learn about volunteerism. However, this is not the only situation currently transfixing my soul.


I had no real tasks set forth when I started the day. I showed up for work about 30 minutes early because my morning coffee and the bus driver’s route were sequenced perfectly. While I sat in our lobby waiting for someone to open the door to our office I didn’t think to take out my head phones.


Then, a pensioner seeking legal counsel walked into the lobby. At the same time, I was taking my tablet out of my bag in order to watch a lecture from the University of Virginia on “Innovation in the Workplace.”  (Yes, I am taking online classes as well.) The pensioner’s body language told me that he wanted to talk, but I was scared to enter into a conversation because his rough look told me that he did not speak much English.


Nevertheless, I plucked off my headphones and dived into a conversation. After about a minute my Ukrainian started to break apart and fade into random babbles. He recognized my struggle, and asked what state I call home. I told him California. His face lit up. He explained that his daughter lives in Denver. He continued to recite the states in broken English. We shared a smile after I told him that he knew more states than I did. It was quite impressive.


That little impact is what makes me electrified when I take off my tie at the end of the day. I was able to impact his life in a positive manner through my prodigious ability to communicate. Moments like this also energize me to ignore the snooze button each day. I am beginning to form a strategy which will help me accomplish my goal in life. One smile at a time. One impact at a time. And, one heart at a time.


*These are the views of Richard James Roman. They are in no way affiliated with those of the Peace Corps or its partners.


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