In life, one comes into contact with a great variety of people. Many of these people can have a degree of influence on how we grow up, learn, cope and become distinct individuals.
When looking at the agents for change and development, different processes, distinct apologists and those matters that resonate with an individual’s inherent belief systems are of paramount importance to consider when doing this exercise.
I have created a list of 25 categories of people that could have had an influence or significant impact on your life. I invite you to download it and use it to identify and discuss those compelling persons that you have come across so far in your life. If you wish, send your results back to me and I will post it on my blog.
Click Here to download the list in Microsoft Word .docx format or
Click Here to download it as an Adobe .pdf file.
There are instructions and suggestions included with the list.
Here is my completed list for your entertainment.
1) Those that one wishes to emulate: there is no person I wish to emulate so I will have to put my own name down: Paul
2) Those that one feels an affinity for: all veterans because the world is scary unpredictable place and the entire population of some countries are devoted to and commanded to bring about the destruction of America and death to all infidels (non-Muslims). The only thing that stands between our annihilation and survival is the military. They deserve great respect and gratitude. In my opinion, any negative actions or wrongdoing of the military is not a fault with the military but with America’s defective political system.
3) Those whose work ethic appeals to us: Brian Geenbaur because of his diligence in performing his work and his respect for all people. Also, his selfless acts of kindness. Richard Feynman for his stick-to-it-ness, his sense of humor and his ability to come up with many different ways to solve any one problem.
4) Parents: My parent’s provided me with the basic necessities when I was a child.
5) Children: I enjoy an excellent quality relationship with my children. Our relationship is miles above the average person’s experience. I am very connected to my kids and enjoy their company and look forward to seeing them often. I have unconditional love for them and am I happy that I have them in my life. Anyone who says they don’t want children would change their mind if they had kids like mine.
6) Siblings: My siblings are all so different from each other yet they are all on the periphery of my social circle. I see them only on the occasional Sunday when I visit my parent’s house at those times that they also there visiting. There is cordial interaction when we see each other but nothing more significant than superficial conversation can be expected.
7) Mentors: I have not ever had a person in my life that would call a mentor. Since I have to come up with an answer, I would have to say that my mentor has been my own sense of self.
8) Teachers: I had a social studies teacher in the 11th grade named Lorraine Berlin. She was quite remarkable and she is the only teacher that ever impressed to any degree. She was fascinating to listen to and her demeanor was that of a person with great self-confidence. Her knowledge went far beyond the one discipline of social studies. She had an amazing grasp of the country’s political system and had worked with some very prominent politicians in the past. Her “serious sanguine” attitude was inspiring and I always paid attention to everything she taught. Interestingly, she was the wife of the base commander of the Air Station in Karamursel Turkey. She had a daughter in the same grade as me and her daughter shared many of her best qualities.
9) Coaches: I have never played any type of sport and have never had any kind of coach. Since I am supposed to have an answer in every category, I will say that my coach was my personal trainer (I don’t remember his name) when I was weight training in the late eighties and early nineties. Actually, I guess he was very much like a couch, I just never thought of it that way.
10) Instructors: Instructors seem like teachers but I guess they could be different. To me, an instructor is someone who shows you how to do something only once or perhaps on an ongoing basis but without any schedule or organization. In this category, I would name Richard Huberdault. He taught me a lot about wood working, the basics of electrical work, and plumbing. His can-do attitude made him a natural instructor. He introduced me to the practice of being a handyman. He was the impetus that sparked my willingness to attempt to repair or take on any kind of project whether I had past experience with it or not. As a result, after many years I developed my own attitude in regard to being a jack-of-all-trades with the motto: “how hard can it be”?
11) Moral guidance: this is tricky one. I didn’t receive any useful moral guidance from my parents beyond the general concepts associated with the golden rule. Neither did I glean moral guidance from the Catholic Catechism I attended until the age 14. Throughout life, I have been exposed to teachings and precepts designed to provide me with morals but I haven’t found any extrinsic influence to be of any value. Uh, does anyone know what the word catechism means?
12) Consultants: The only people I can associate with this category are business consultants. I have had a few QuickBooks experts come to the office to help me with problems and/or to learn new skills. Unfortunately, those experiences weren’t as helpful as I’d hoped and certainly not worth the cost involved.
13) Religious persons or organizations: Obviously, Jesus of Nazareth tops this list. Well, no – not really. Just kidding. In this category, only one experience comes to mind and that is the many years I was a member of the Unitarian Universalist Society of Grafton and Upton. I was very involved in the church and its activities, as well as the social aspects of belonging to a group. I was involved in almost every aspect of the church including religious education, adult discussion groups, fundraising, community involvement, the selection of a new minister and I was a trustee on the Board of trustees. I derived a lot of satisfaction and social skills from my ten or so years as a member of the church.
14) Philosophers: There are too many philosophers that I have admired at some point in my life that naming one or more is difficult. Any that comes to mind would simply be those that can I thought of on the spur of the moment and would not be in any order or represent any greater significance than any other. Right now, Bertrand Russell and Niels Bohr come to mind.
15) Authority figures: Another difficult category. I’m not so keen on authority figures. I will, however, name Eric (the Chief of Police in Barre, MA) and Hillary Clinton.
16) Political figures: I may have jumped the gun a little because Hillary Clinton is definitely in this category. Also: Jimmy Carter, Bill Clintonand Michelle Obama.
17) Scientists: This is a very easy category and I could list dozens, but here are some of my favorites: Sam Harris, Lawrence Kraus, Stephen Hawking, Max Planck, Albert Einstein, Richard Feynman, Brian Greene, Brian Cox and Edwin Hubble
18) Authors: Brian Christian, Christopher Hitchens, Michael Shermer, Michio Kaku and Bill Bryson.
19) Artists: I don’t know why but I don’t have any favorite artists. Marcel Mouly and Jacques-Louis David are the only two that come to mind.
20) Musicians (composers): Cher, Yoko Ono, Madonna, Allen, me
21) Explorers: I don’t care much for the explorers of the past. They pretty much just brought God and disease with them wherever they “discovered” something. But since I have to answer, I’ll say the Voyager Satellites.
22) Inventors: Well, I’d like to thank all the inventors that make life comfortable and interesting, however, I don’t know their names. I will have to list Nikola Tesla
23) Intellectuals: I think the philosophersand scientists I listed earlier would also double as my intellectuals. Otherwise I might list my daughter Sarah.
24) Those in service (to community or country): All veterans, policeand firefighters. Especially the veterans who serve their country and return to find that they’re no longer of any use to society.
25) Successful business persons: Bill Gates (Microsoft), Jeff Bezos(Amazon), Tim Cook (Apple), Allen Dion, and many others.
26) I’m adding Dreamers to my list. Not the kind that waste their lives dreaming of foolishness or unobtainable things. But rather, the kind that have dreams and strive to make them come true. I name Allen Dion.