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“Be the change you wish to see in the world,” said Mahatma Gandhi. He understood The Model of Powerful Impact. Change starts from within. When we recognize that we have the power to change our circumstances, we inadvertently enact a change on our community and the world.

I’ve recently been reading the life story of Elizabeth Blackwell who went to great lengths to change her circumstances. Raised in a liberal home where education was prized for women, she was armed with the courage to break the status quo. After years of struggle and setbacks, she became the first woman doctor in the United States. The desire to become a doctor began with a conversation with a friend who, struggling with a terminal illness, said she would have felt more comfortable with a woman doctor. Elizabeth recognized a need in her community. Shouldered with a firm determination, she pursued a course to answer that need, a course that left her ostracized and misunderstood for years—by men and women, by patients and educators. In fact, when she was finally admitted into a medical school, it was only because of a practical joke. But she was undaunted and declared, “If society will not admit of woman’s free development, then society must be remodeled.” She went about remodeling. A lot of prejudice had to be overcome, but by the time of her death, there were 7,000 registered women doctors. Her impact continues to be felt today.

Your influence might not seem to reach far or even be recognized in this lifetime, but every time you pray with a child, visit a lonely neighbor, volunteer at a child’s school, or express a kind thought, you are having an impact. And while that impact might not ever be fully acknowledged to you individually, it has more far-reaching effects than you can ever imagine. It all starts from within. We work to improve ourselves and our families improve. Our families can then take on challenges in the community. As families reach out, communities are lifted and the world begins to change. Never underestimate the good you are doing or the impact you are creating. This is the Model of Powerful Impact.