Contributed by Denthew Learey
Influence is the ability to impact the character, development, or behavior of others. There’s a lot out there in our society that influences us: media, social networks, movies, education, peers, friends, family, etc. Sadly, not all of these influences are good and can even have a bad impact on our lives. It’s time to put this negative barrage to an end.
That’s why CARP is so important. CARP stands for the values and principles that help us become the light in a dark and troubled world. Let the victories of this past year fill us with strength as we proudly make a positive influence in 2018.
- 14 chapters were officially registered on campus. This gives us legitimacy on campus, a voice, and further resources and opportunities.
- Deepened partnerships with local supporters and national organizations like the American Clergy Leadership Conference (ACLC) and the Women’s Federation for World Peace (WFWP)
- Connected to the world – 120 participants traveled to Japan and Korea to have a priceless intercultural exchange with Korea CARP, Japan CARP, and others.
- And more…
At times we may be overcome by fear and doubt when trying to stand up. But, in those moments, remember what we’ve already accomplished and overcome. You’re not alone. Students and CARP chapters across the nation hosted rallies and events that reminded us to be confident and proud of all the good that CARP stands for.
2018: The Year of Influence
At a leadership retreat at the beginning of this year, our National CARP President, Teresa Rischl, declared 2018 the year we become intentional about the influence and positive impact we want to have in our relationships, campuses, society, and world. With the foundation of all we’ve done, let’s move forward with confidence. As Mother Moon similarly said, ‘what are you afraid of?’
We have a whole new year ahead of us and so much potential as CARP to influence many students positively. Let the testimonies of the past bring life to the testimonies of the present and future of what’s possible.
Oftentimes, we might think our influence is small and has no impact on the universe. Jonathan Safran Foer in Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close has a different mindset, and shares this story:
“When Dad was still alive, and I got incredibly heavy boots about how relatively insignificant life is, and how, compared to the universe and compared to time, it didn’t even matter if I existed at all.
When Dad was tucking me in that night and we were talking about the book, I asked if he could think of a solution to that problem. ‘What problem?’
‘The problem of how relatively insignificant we are.’
He said, ‘Well, what would happen if a plane dropped you in the middle of the Sahara Desert and you picked up a single grain of sand with tweezers and moved it one millimetre?’
I said, ‘I’d probably die of dehydration.’
He said, ‘I just mean right then, when you moved that single grain of sand. What would that mean?’
I said, ‘I dunno, what?’
He said. ‘Think about it.’
I thought about it. ‘I guess I would have moved a grain of sand.’
‘Which would mean?’
‘Which would mean I moved a grain of sand?’
‘Which would mean you changed the Sahara.’
So? So the Sahara is a vast desert. And it has existed for million of years. And you changed it!’
‘That’s true!’ I said, sitting up. ‘I changed the Sahara!’
‘Which means?’ he said.
‘What? Tell me.’
‘Well, I’m not talking about painting the Mona Lisa or curing cancer. I’m just talking about moving that one grain of sand one millimetre.’
‘If you hadn’t done it, human history would have been one way …’
‘But, you did do it, so …’
I stood on the bed, pointed my fingers at the fake stars, and screamed: ‘I changed the universe!’
You are the Change
We might have just moved a piece of sand one millimeter, but still we made an impact on the universe. This doesn’t compare to the colossal steps we make every day on our campuses, in our chapters, and through our relationships. Each act of love influences the culture around us and creates a positive impact. So don’t hold back. Make a change. Reach out. Help others. Let 2018 be the year we transform the culture around us into a culture of heart so we can take steps to truly be one family under God.
What can you do? Get involved! There is strength and power in numbers. We can make an even greater impact when more people get involved. Don’t have a chapter near you? Start one yourself! We started a weekly support series designed to help inspired individuals take the steps to start a chapter. If you’re interested, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Together, let’s make this an incredible year of heart, joy, truth, and love.