Each day, each minute each breath we take in our lives can impact not only the path of our own lives but the people around us. Every smile you give, every selfless dead, every snarky comment or whisper impacts, is branded and unchangeable. This is something that we as teenagers and even just as human beings forget, and even sometimes are completely oblivious to. Looked at, admired, inspired. Someone whether you know it or not takes notice of you, and how you live your life. You are a role model to someone, so remember this! But this is a hard concept to wrap your head around, as we spend so much time and energy of our lives thinking about the impact of our own actions towards our own lives whilst standing oblivious on the impact we stamp on someone else’s. 

In life we get so caught up the smallest of things that seem so catastrophic, we place a magnifying glass over our problems and our worries but do we ever stop…..  do we ever stop to pull that magnifying glass away and just look. Look at our precious time they we’ve spent on this earth, trying to achieve that grade in that maths paper, trying to get into that sports team, trying to earn that degree, trying to get that job to tell our selves that we are successful… that we have succeeded in life…. Is this really the purpose, to be successful? I found a quote from Ben Lionel Scott he said that “When we’re laying on our death bed, you’re not going to be worried about how much money you had, how much power you had how much prestige, you’re gonna see that that was all game, that was all an illusion, the only thing that’s going to matters is the impact you had on other people’s lives”  When you take that magnifying glass away and look at your life, look and see that everything in your life, your money, your job, your success is all inevitably disposable and fades away with you. So.. it is so important to take that step back from your life, take that magnifying glass away and just look, and see the impact you are making on the lives of others and the impact you are making in your world.

People think that making an impact is some courageous dead, like volunteering in a third world country or donating a million dollars to a charity, it could be all of these but the most powerful impact the impact in life is the smallest of things, the things that seem ridiculous that seem unimportant, but are inevitably life changing. In the 17 years that I have lived 15 of those years, I spent in fear that people did not accept my appearance, that I had to sircume to the ideals of society. 15 years. Growing up as a lanky, skinny uncoordinated kid wasn’t easy, for those 15 years of my life this seemed like the end of the world for me, every longing stare I caught worried me, every whisper I feared, I placed that magnifying glass over something as vain as my appearance…..  It wasn’t until one day when I was at netball practice and my coach who I believe was about year 13 at the time, said one sentence that changed the way in which I choose to live my life changed the way I think about my self. She said “I learned to love my body because I didn’t want to change it, it was other people who wanted to change me.” this has forever changed me one sentence, one sentence allowed me to take away my magnifying glass. She made an impact on my life, in one sentence. 

We all stand in a position today, to be a role model, to make an impact. I am the oldest sibling thus I  have been rewarded the honor to be a role model for the entirety of my life…. many of you here may be the oldest child, but for me, I feel a constant pressure, and stress to uphold my self in a way that reflects everything that I am and everything that I want to be. My actions my decision, each word I say impacts the life of my younger sister. So inevitably every day that I have I have been a role model…..17 years….. I have the opportunity to impact the course of not only my life but someone else’s, and I most definitely do not take this as a burden, I take this as a privilege. I take it and I choose to impact her life in a positive manner, I hope that any impact I make on other is a positive one. I feel that we as human beings take this opportunity that we have in our everyday life and throw it away, we take it for granted we selfishly ignore… WHY, when an impact can have such a great reaction when the effect and impact you have on the people around you is the most valuable currency there is, the only thing in life that is left on this earth when you’re gone.  I am not here to tell you that my impact on others is 100% positive and that I have changed the lives of many…. I stand in front of you, unbeknown to the impact on anyone, I stand oblivious to the impact I have made on all of you here in this room. But I choose to live my life knowing I can make an Impact, upholding myself true, and honest to everything that I am and everthing I wish to be.

This year I have been given an incredible opportunity to be a leader, to be a role model. For me, being a head student doesn’t mean, success, doesn’t mean public speaking, and all the things you might think it means. For me, the most valuable opportunity I get from this role is to have a greater impact, to reach a wider group of people and to inspire. I was given the change to speak at this year’s ANZAC day, I had no idea of the impact that my speech and my presence there had on all of the people who came to remember to people who fought for our country. After the ceremony was finished various people came up who had watched and thanked me. Thanked me for voicing my opinion, for honoring the people before me, I tell you around 30 people came up to me and shook my hand…. For weeks after I was receiving messages and email from more people, this impact that I had on all of these people was overwhelming and I am so grateful I took the opportunity to do this, and I had never even imagined the impact it had on all of these people. Something that seemed so small to me, presenting a small speech to express my gratitude, I believed was something I had to do, something so small, seems so insignificant to me had a greater impact, left a longing impression and impact on these people. Something that will not disappear with me, that might stay with these people for a long time.

Today I stand in front of 900 students every single week, the way in which I dress, the way in which I sit stand talk can make an impact on 900 students…… But in fact, you all walk the halls each day, passing hundreds of students so think about it… the way in which you dress, talk, walk speak all can have an impact on the lives of the people around you, your actions as insignificant as they may seem, have the potential for impact. A smile at a peer as they pass you by could change the course of their day, a compliment can impact so much more than you think. So why choose to live your life thinking only about the impact of our own actions towards our own lives whilst standing oblivious on the impact we stamp on someone else’s???


Looked at, admired, inspired someone whether you know it or not takes notice of you and how you live your life, someone is inspired by you! To inspire to change to grace, to bless and develop the lives of others is truly the most valuable currency you behold. Live your life knowing that you’ve made an impact, that your legacy left on this earth is one that is more than success more than fortune, but is an impact to be proud of.

Join the conversation! 2 Comments

  1. A good start. Look to give solidification to what it’s about 🙂

  2. This is reading really well, Mackenzie. It is definitely ‘time’ to move into your own personal story and delve into why this topic is of importance to your life. Also keep yourself on track by considering – what is the task asking and how can you address this 🙂


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