Influence is Not Easily Quantified

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Influence? Why is it that the individuals in our lives who have the largest influence on us, do so in a way that is not easily quantified? Through her ability to raise 4 teenage boys, my mother has shown me the strength, courage, and selfless dedication of today’s single mothers. By being an outstanding person in the community, my neighbor across the yard acted as an inspiring male role model during a time when I needed one most. By being friendly and easy to relate to, my World Civilizations teacher in my sophomore year of high school opened my eyes to the underlying connections between a society's history and its culture and expanded my knowledge of American culture and the rest of the world as well. While these influences have a significant meaning to me and have contributed greatly to my development and growth, they came too effortlessly to my mind.

The fact that I could sit down and formulate a list of the ways that these individuals have an influence on me suggests that their influences did not alter me in a profound way. All of these people are my elders, and perhaps I feel distance from them. The person in my life whose influence shook me to the deepest level, is a person whose influence is almost impossible to put into words. James, the best friend I've ever had, changed me, and I believe I in turn changed him too, at one of the most significant times in our lives: the fifth grade. We developed our personalities, our senses of humor, and our love for girls at the same time and in a similar fashion. It would lessen his influence on me to quantify it: I am what I am because of him; I honestly can’t say the same about any other friend I have ever had.

James came to my school in the second grade, and we immediately conn...

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...re what influenced me so deeply. No, James didn't work some lesson into my heart, he worked HIMSELF into my heart, and even if I were to never see the guy again, he changed me forever. I think that finding someone that you can genuinely connect with and feel that destiny set them in your path, someone you feel honestly understands you and makes you feel special. I firmly believe that this vital relationship was a catalyst that would cause me be much more successful in an educational institution beyond high school. It has taught me to reach out to others, and also take beneficial and calculated risks. I have learned to love unconditionally, be myself, and to simple grow and challenge myself in life. I staunchly believe meeting someone that would impact you so exceptionally is one of the most profound, life-changing, and influential experiences a person can ever have.
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