So often we focus on the negatives in our lives. The things that hold us back, that trip us up and make our lives seem more difficult. Really positive people point out that with the right attitude we can see those ‘stumbling blocks’ as ‘stepping stones.’ I have come to realize that there are also ‘launching points’ in every life. People, and things, that have boosted us, lifted us up, in ways that affected our entire life thereafter.
I have heard several versions of this story, but here is the basic idea: If you’re walking along a fence and spot a turtle sitting atop a fencepost, you know it didn’t get there by itself. I think this fits ALL of us. We are all where we are in life because of the people & things that have impacted us and how we accept or reject those influences.
Strangely enough, in my own life there have only been a half dozen that truly “rocked my world.” I think I will break this down into 6 individual posts, covering each change in more depth. As to how to arrange them, the easiest is chronologically, from the earliest to most recent.
My First True Love – The Printed Word. Somewhere around the age of 8 or 10 years old I discovered books. Not as though I didn’t know what they were before that, only that I did not know what they could mean to me.
I fell in love and my passion has never waned. In books I found limitless horizons, a true sense of wonder, and the knowledge of mankind. I found a source for everything that had ever been discovered and visionaries who foresaw a great deal of everything that could ever be imagined.
Over the years I have found inspiration when troubled, motivation when life has dulled the point of my spirit, I have found help when I needed it and learned about the joy of passing that on to others in their time of need. Because of books I have developed a soaring imagination and creativity that amazes me daily. A reader is never bored and only boring to a non-reader.
When those around had fear, I delved into knowledge, for we fear the unknown much more than the known. Through reading I was able to deepen many of my beliefs and discard others. I learned to challenge myself and to shape my life’s experience by choice.
But why books? In this age of multimedia why limit yourself? Yet it is the person who only watches that is truly limited. Their experience is limited by the medium to ONLY the vision of the Director & screenplay. Pay attention and observe a child watching a movie, television or even many video games. Their mind has been taken over, captured and controlled by that experience.
All creativity is shut down as they are given what to think. Whereas the reader’s mind is stimulated and in a state of full on imagination as the story encourages them to think it, hear it, feel it – to see it via their internal eyes. I fully enjoy a good movie experience but perhaps not quite the same as some. You see, everything that we all saw for the first time in Star Wars back in the 70’s was written and seen in many minds over 50 years before that.
I have often wondered why others have not discovered the pleasures of the written word that I have. I noticed that in many cases it was simply a matter of encouragement and being exposed to a type or style of literature that they personally enjoyed. My son discovered his ‘fun’ reading early on, yet my daughter didn’t find hers until her mid twenties. But they have one thing in common with nearly all readers. Once you start loving to read you expand way out beyond entertainment as you learn to learn.
I have been excited about reading for over 50 years now, and don’t expect that to change. I even volunteer in the local Library every week because I love just being around ALL THOSE BOOKS.
Has this shaped who I am? Without a doubt. But even better, it has allowed me to participate in that shaping.
Please share with us some of the things and people that had a significant positive impact on your life.