Making A Difference ~ The Power Of One

Today, my paternal grandfather would have been 103 years old. Samuel M. Taylor was such a respected man in his community of Mansfield, Arkansas. I would visit the 200 acre Taylor Farm once or twice a year as a youth, and Sam’s presence would encourage and teach me. I absorbed his authentic spirituality, service, sacrifice, and true love. Filled with overwhelming emotion, I was blessed to share at his memorial service in 2003, with my 11-month old first born daughter watching me from the audience. “Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever.” (Hebrews 13:7-8) MR. SAM INSPIRED ME, and so many others who spoke of his impact and continuing legacy. ❤️


Samuel M. Taylor “Mr. Sam”, 90, of Mansfield passed away Friday, Nov. 21, 2003, in Frisco, Texas. He was born July 22, 1913, in Mansfield, graduated from Mansfield High School in 1931, and went to earn his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Oklahoma State University and the University of Arkansas. Sam began his 39-year teaching career in agriculture at Carnegie, Okla., and Okolona and Bismarck, before returning to Mansfield in 1942 where he taught vocational agriculture until retirement in 1975. While director of the Mansfield Future Farmers of America, his students won many district, state, and national awards. Sam was a director of the Bank of Mansfield for 50 years. He was a lifelong member and Sunday school teacher as well as elder of Coop Prairie Church. Sam was proud of the fact that his family helped establish the Mansfield community through receiving a land grant from President James Buchanan in 1858. His family donated land for the Coop Prairie Church and Cemetery. He was Mansfield School board member and president. He and Elmyra were active in the Arkansas Retired Teachers Association and served on many retired teachers’ boards. Sam was also a board member of the Western Arkansas Legal Services. He and Elmyra were selected as the Scott County Farm Family of the Year in 1985. Sam’s life was rewarded with teaching, community service, and church worship in Mansfield. Sam met and married Elmyra Barnett, his best friend and the love of his life in 1936. She preceded him in death in 1989. ~ The Times Record Obituary Archives, Fort Smith, Arkansas


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WHO HAS INSPIRED YOU?

Let’s journey together through a motivating meditation. Take a few deep, centering breaths. Now, reflect upon your ELEMENTARY SCHOOL YEARS and think of your FAVORITE TEACHER. Notice who comes to mind first. Visualize this special person. Did they have a unique voice, smell, distinguishing feature or mannerism? What did they say or do that was memorable and inspiring? How did you feel in their presence? What qualities did/do you respect about this teacher?

And now, fast forward into your HIGH SCHOOL YEARS and choose one YOUTH LEADER, COACH, COUNSELOR or TEACHER who positively influenced your life path. Visualize this individual: their smile, their gaze, their listening ear. What did they say or do that was motivating and encouraging? How did you feel in their presence? What qualities did/do you respect about this leader?

Now dwell upon a CURRENT MENTOR, COACH, TEACHER who challenges and lovingly spurs you on to the next level. Visualize their whole being, their essence—body, mind and spirit. What do they say and do that is heart-felt and wise? How do you feel in their presence? What qualities do you treasure about this respected guide?

Encompass now these three influential people. Are there any common themes or threads in your teachers, coaches, and mentors? Can you choose ONE QUALITY, ONE WORD that describes them all? Notice what arises first.

Looking at your own life, does this ONE QUALITY, ONE WORD represent you and how you desire to inspire and influence others?

WHO DO YOU INSPIRE?

How do others feel in your presence? What do you say and do that is motivating and memorable? Allow yourself to smile in gratitude and joy for those who have inspired you and for those you inspire.

Never underestimate the POWER OF ONE. ONE PERSON. ONE SMILE. ONE WORD. ONE CHALLENGE. ONE INSPIRATION.

“The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called truth.” ~ Dan Rather

RESPONSE QUESTIONS:

Who am I here to love and serve?
How do I love and serve?
What is shifting, changing and evolving?
What is my unique contribution?
How do I want to make a difference?

“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.” ❤️ ~ Mahatma Gandhi