What makes one person susceptible to others' opinions and another couldn't care less?
But that's not right.
Everyone is influenced. Yeah, that' s what I said. Be it other humans or circumstances we're all influenced by something. Maybe our reading material, maybe the media. Friends, family, even enemies influence us.
Now don't stomp me down. Listen to what I'm saying. We don't have to respond negatively to that influence. Say Terri Terrible calls me up, chews me out. How will I respond? Will I "get even" by slamming the phone and proceed to tell all my friends what an awful person she is? (Okay, if I do, I've allowed her to influence my response. But then, there could be other influences bearing on me. It wouldn't have to be just her.)
But what if T.T. calls and I respond sweetly. "I'm so sorry you feel that way? How can I make it better? (Did she cause me to react that way? Probably not. The influence there could be the reactions I learned from my parents: they always reacted that way. My church and/or religion, could have a bearing on what I say, how I feel. My personality could play on how I speak to her.
Weather, my physical and mental self, food. Whatever. You name it, and it could influence how you are, think, react.
Food? Definitely, food. Ever seen children eat too much sweets? What about people who're hooked on caffeine, or other items? Junk food? Certain soft drinks?
So why are children so different? One son stands up for what he wants and feels, the other goes with the flow. No matter who he's with, that's who influences him. Is he weak?
I say, with hesitancy, yes. But, then, when I think of all the times I've been influenced by someone, who am I to point a finger at him? I wish I had more of a backbone. Wish I could block out all those influences.
But wait, wouldn't that make me a box? Empty, without thought or feeling? How sterile would life be with just my own thoughts? Would I even have any? Or would I amble about bored with me? Bored with no challenge to accept or reject what's presented to me as real, false, entertaining, boring, life. Would I end up being a robot?
Life is life. We're always going to have to deal with it. Aren't influences some of the things that make life interesting? That cause me to think, to make the judgments in my life? To decide whether to go or stay, to be or not to be? Whatever choices (good or bad, harmful or helpful) we've made--well, at least we made them. (We may hang our head in shame or glow with happiness).
I think they're here to stay. What say you?
Speaking of influencers: I read a book recently to help influence others (grin). It's Chris Wells book published by Harvest House, called "Deliver Us From Evelyn."
Here's a short blurb: Evelyn is a rich hard-to-get-along-with woman whose husband disappears. Together they own a magazine business. She is constantly changing things there, taking out and inserting other articles at the last minute, causing chaos with those who work under her. Into the scenario are two police detectives--one with a fascination for cartoons, a pretend minister who is really a very bad guy, and a mysterious blogger whose identity know one knows.
Will the people involved be finally delivered from Evelyn? Will her husband accept a daughter he didn't even know he had? And will the blogger achieve her/his goals? Read it to find out.
Hints for a healthy Thanksgiving:
* Enjoy the variety of food available at Thanksgiving without consuming large volumes.
* Get some exercise before and after the meal, even if you just take a walk.
* Make an effort to see if there are low-fat alternatives for some of your holiday meals.
* Buy a smaller turkey and prepare smaller servings of all that you plan to serve.
* Give your family a chance to help out in the kitchen. This will teach them healthy cooking!
This will all emphasize the familial aspects of the gathering rather than the gastronomic. The meal is a transitory experienc--gone shortly while the memories could last a lifetime!
We all mold one another's dreams. We all hold each other's fragile hopes in our hands. We all touch others' hearts.
(Is that quote saying we're an influence?)