I am coming up to another birthday and it makes me think of the people who have influenced my life. Because certain people influence us by the way they live life, I think they are worthy of mention in our own life story.
It goes without saying that parents are often a major influence. My father was determined that I should have music lessons as he loved it and only played by ear. My mother was equally determined that my brother and I had a good education. She was prepared to spend money to give us one. If anyone asked her ( in 1950’s) why she chose to encourage me to go to university, she’d say, “If you educate a boy, you educate an individual. If you educate a girl, you educate a family.” Her words, her maxim, have influenced me in encouraging our children to read and go onto further studies. Another person who influenced me was an aunt who was a teacher and who lost her husband in WWII as well as her mother and baby within a year. It was a real tragedy but she showed me her strength of character and her faith in God through it all. She later showed the same faith in dealing with cancer 35 years later. That example has stayed with me too. I had other aunts who were loving and kind to many people and a mother who always sought to help others. I have tried to follow in their footsteps.
I write this about my own family to show you that people in our lives can and should be incorporated into our own life stories or memoirs because of their influence on us. You may remember an influential teacher or a mentor later in life. If you are married, your spouse will have been an influence too. I would encourage you to look for those influences, for sayings that have stayed with you and for lasting values they passed on that affected the direction your life has taken.