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AWRIGHT DEN! To influence

Corey Worrell

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I had just left a friend’s home and was on my way to work when I drove past a church that caught my attention. After I passed the church, I heard a voice in my head ask: “How long has this church been here?
I thought about it and realised that the church had been there for more than 18 years in its current state. As
I continued on my journey, I pondered and pondered on the significance of this question. It was only when I reached work that I got the answer.
I realised the question was asked to reveal what I believed to be a problem.
In the 18 years I knew of that church, it never increased its physical size as a result of the continuous growth of its members.
My greatest concern had nothing to do with the size of the church building, but moreso the size of the congregation and members, which would be a direct representation of the influence which the church has on the people in their communities, and the influence leadership in the church has on its members and congregation.
This caused me to think about the influence we as a people have on those around us, especially the youth, and as a result was led to ask these questions:
How much influence do parents have on their children? How many parents are really able to convince their children to follow their vision and instruction without the use of fear of physical punishment?
How much influence do teachers really have on their children? How many teachers are able to influence their students based on their character, lifestyles, experiences and successes? How many students leave a classroom at the end of a session so inspired by their teachers that they themselves want to become teachers?
How much influence do politicians have on the nation’s youth? How many young people are so encouraged by the character and professionalism of our political leaders that they themselves desire to be politicians?
If we reflect on the questions asked above and we recognise that there is a deficiency or absence of influence in our lives, I believe we as a people are at a defining moment and we need to do some urgent introspection.
Two questions that we would need to ask ourselves are:1.    How much influence do I really have? 2.    Is my influence based on manipulation or is it based on my character and lifestyle.As I close I leave you with one of my personal quotes: “Once you become common, you lose your influence”.???• Corey Worrell is a former Commonwealth Youth Ambassador