With Love, Laura Beth

Words from my heart

Distinct Impression

Distinct Impression

This semester I work at the university switchboard three mornings a week. When I arrive on campus, I park in the Chestnut lot, head toward the sidewalk on the south side of McDonald Hall, and then walk briskly along the sidewalk’s left edge, eyes fixed on the cement until it’s time to turn the corner.

On a recent morning, the imprint of a leaf in the cement caught my eye. How did a leaf so small make such a distinct impression? Leaves weigh almost nothing. Somehow though, that leaf found its way into the once-fresh cement and left its mark on the world.

The leaf made me think of my current history course, Modern Civilizations. During class, the professor lectures from PowerPoint presentations. Slide after slide, pictures and bullet points tell of men and women who left their mark on the world—some for better, some for worse. During junior high and high school, history bored me. But the older I’ve gotten, the more it fascinates me and the more I understand:


One of my heroes is William Wilberforce, the British politician who spent twenty-six years committed to abolishing the slave trade. His voice led to the Slavery Abolition Act 1833. Of course, he didn’t do it alone. Others came alongside him. They supported him, believed in him—they spurred him on. Amazing Grace, the movie about Wilberforce, is a favorite of mine and it ends with the following statement:

William Wilberforce continued to battle injustice for the rest of his life. He transformed the hearts and minds of his countrymen on education, health care and prison reform to accomplish his second great dream—making a better world.

It may be easy to think that one person can’t make a difference. Often we ask, Who am I? Do I matter? Often we answer, I’m nobody. My life is small and insignificant.

But that’s simply not true. I can make a difference in my world. I can make a distinct impression in the fresh cement I call my home, my work, my city, my state, my country.

My life can change the world and make it better. So can yours.

Together, let’s dream.


7 comments on “Distinct Impression

  1. Brooke Criswell
    April 15, 2019

    Thank you for your response.

  2. Laura Beth
    April 14, 2019

    Brooke, there’s no question that we could have talked even longer than we did on Saturday. I loved our conversation! And for you to mention William Wilberforce? I really couldn’t believe it 🙂 We are kindred spirits on many levels, and you have made a fresh and beautiful imprint on my heart and life, as well. Thank you for your comment, your time, your openness, and your friendship. Oh, and the Wilberforce quote you shared is so powerful–it’s going to the top of my favorite quotes list.

  3. Brooke Criswell
    April 14, 2019

    Yes, Laura Beth. You have made a fresh distinction in my world. You have made a fresh imprint on the fresh cement of my heart. I’m sure my husband has tired of hearing of my time with you. By the way my favorite quote of Wilberforce that just spent a month on the wall of my kitchen…”You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.” Thank you for your imprint.

  4. Laura Beth
    March 16, 2017

    Thank you for your reply, Elaine! I enjoyed being a part of History Day–the students really inspired me and touched my heart! And thank you again for your encouragement. I’m so happy we’ve connected 🙂

  5. Elaine Sotiropulos
    March 15, 2017

    How interesting that you chose WW who clearly took a stand – and no one chose him for their History Day project this year! (Or his name didn’t show up in any of the titles!) This is a beautifully written slice of life. I hope you will write and post more!

  6. Laura Beth
    April 15, 2015

    Thank you, Miss Media Monster 😉 So excited about your blog!! Us little-known blogsters must unite in our effort to send our words into the world, hoping they’ll find a resting spot in someone’s heart
    (credit to author Katie Funk Wiebe for that thought). Love you LL!

  7. TheMediaMonster
    April 13, 2015

    Beautifully written, Laura Beth! Thanks for the reminder! 🙂 And thank you for your encouragement to me to start my own blog. I have finally done so, and now, I have nominated you for the Liebster Award! https://mythandmediamonsters.wordpress.com/2015/04/13/i-have-been-nominated-for-the-liebster-award/

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