Who or What Influenced You?

Have you ever looked over your shoulder into your own personal history…

Influence…and asked, “Why did I do that?”, or “Why did I chose this direction?”

There is benefit in taking an adult view backwards, especially when you look for someone to thank, and not blame, for your current life.

It’s almost like standing at the podium when presented with a prestigious award… Who do you want to thank, besides yourself, for doing what was required to receive such a reward?

Authors often have a dedication page where they name someone who was instrumental in the writing process, or in getting them past a hurdle, or even sending them down this particular path.

Who do you thank? What do you thank?

Mostly, we have a select few thoughts that rise to the top, but somewhere back in time there was someone (even several someone’s) who gently prodded as a certain direction, or something that set our sails and anchors into different steps.

In past blogs I have named some of the early influential individuals, but as I was describing to my mom, I have no real memory of some surely certain events that I am sure occurred…

I don’t remember Sunday School until I was about 8 or 9 years old. Today, our Sunday School teachers are into the kids in a lot of ways, I cannot imagine a single one of them not remembering these good times.

What I do remember are all those birthday parties! Of course, presents were more important than the cake… Of course, family movies often enforce those early memories and make them more vividly recalled.

I do not remember my first kindergarten experience, except for the location and fear of being somewhere by myself. We moved several months into the experience so it did not imprint very well. Nor can I remember most of my school teachers, except for a few names here and there. The remembered ones were probably those that pushed me a little bit deeper into my present day person.

What I do remember is the first time dad took me to see the Colt 45’s play ball in Houston, long before there were Astro’s – either of the space or the dome or the team kind.

What I do remember are those first books of Dr Seuss and Hardy Boys that set my love for reading! I remember my first kid’s bible, red covered, and my first study bible from which I discovered a love for the study of scripture. And, of course, those volumes of books mom and dad bought from a traveling salesman (I suspect) that were probably in most everyone’s home – and I remember opening every encyclopedia, dictionary, how-to’s and history, and those bible story books…

What I do remember are those powerful and joyful moments when mom and dad would let us engage with them at the steering wheel – sitting in their laps, practicing shifting, letting us have the wheel at appropriate times, and taking us on those long cross country trips.

What I do remember are those trips to the grandparents – either in Ace or at Murvaul, and the life lived away from summer responsibilities back home – even though we did chores while staying with them.

What I do remember is learning how to swim like a fish and enjoying the water every chance I got, even if it was in lake water where you could not see the bottom!

What I do remember is taking to the woods every time the opportunity presented itself. With a trusted pocket knife, a BB gun, a walking stick… Whatever the situation called for.

What I do remember are those wheeled adventures via bikes, go-cart, motorcycle… My cousin and I were allowed to take our Honda trail bikes down back roads and go all the way to Lake Houston long before we had drivers license… Wouldn’t dream of letting kids do that today!

What I do remember is getting my learners permit, drivers license and motorcycle endorsement…

Along the way, I was introduced to some favored authors that I still enjoy reading today.

Maybe you should take some time and mine your memories for those things of past that have influenced you for today… and the future.

So, my thought is that influencers are not simply people by name, but a collective of “things” that helped you become who you are.

Then, take that same powerful thinking process and ask the even deeper question…

Who am I influencing, and how do I influence them…

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