Influences

 

A magnet attracts iron, yet has no effect whatsoever on wood.

Years ago I heard someone say, "The two strongest influences on our lives are the people we meet and the books we read." In one sense, these are one and the same thing, for is it not true that when we read a book, we are meeting with another's mind, their thoughts, attitudes, opinions, feelings, beliefs?
This is the wonder of books. Though St. Augustine has been dead fifteen centuries, through his writings he speaks to us today, revealing his mind and soul. Through memoirs, letters, essays and speeches, we can become acquainted with all kinds of people from all periods of history, including philosophers, musicians, pioneers and even presidents.

We have no choice over some influences. We don't choose our parents; nor do we choose the nation of our birth.

Nevertheless, we do have the power to choose other influences, particularly the books we read, the friends we associate with, the places we choose to visit. The influences we choose reveal as much about who we are as they help mold what we shall become.

As I reflect on the people and experiences that touched my life today, which are the influences I have chosen and what do these things say about who I am and what I long to become?