Friday, August 03, 2012


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?


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