good life – by mandy bopp
Part of cultivating a good life is taking time to invest in others.
As I’ve grown older, I’ve become much more aware of the influence others have had on my life as well as recognizing the impact I could potentially offer for someone else.
For the past 15 or so years, I have been teaching music lessons in a variety of different venues. While I’ve enjoyed all of my jobs teaching, one of my favorites is working with teenagers.
Now, I know teenagers can be difficult…they come with big people problems in big people bodies with almost big people minds. But let me just say:
Teenagers are AWESOME.
One of the amazing parts of working with teenagers on a regular basis is being a part of their everyday life: watching them sort through the world, question their surroundings and find their footing. They are so creative, energetic, and inquisitive, and if given the right support system can blossom into amazing individuals.
Sometimes it’s lending an ear when they need to talk and aren’t ready to go to Mom and Dad. Sometimes it’s challenging them on an opinion they have formed just to make sure they’ve truly thought it through. Sometimes it’s providing the right amount of encouragement. Sometimes it’s calling them out when they’ve made a bad choice. Sometimes it’s helping them get the resources they need. Sometimes it’s helping them discover their passion and helping them follow their dreams when no one else will.
Sometimes it’s as simple as just being there because they don’t have anyone else.
Outside of being a mother and wife, mentoring young people has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I’ve witnessed the effects of this first hand on a daily basis.
Last weekend as we set 300 of the boys out into the world, the last lesson imparted on them was “Touch one life and watch how you can change all mankind.” There are so many ways to be a positive force in someone’s life whether it is to a new mom, a student, or simply someone who could use your help and expertise. When you invest in someone else, you have the opportunity to show them that they matter and that they too can and should go do good in the world. The gifts you receive in return are priceless!
P.S. Four years ago, every single one of these boys was shorter than me! Teenage boys are GIANTS!
Note from Becky
I consider Mandy a friend, but we’ve only spent time together in person just once. Last year. Over pizza. We will soon get to repeat that experience and I look forward to it. Sometimes you meet a person and just know that they are cultivating a good life. Mandy loves and serves and teaches and inspires … and she is a Project Life® customer, too. She’s not only cultivating a good life but recording it, too. I so appreciate her message today because I think about the individuals who have had the greatest impact on me – from my childhood and even right now. The time we invest in others does matter.