Thursday, April 13, 2017

Your key people: Who are they and how did they shape you?

Today we continue looking at ways to rediscover stories from the past so you can include them in your memoir. 

(Click on these recent posts if you missed them: Your stories: Where do you find them? and Where can you find your stories? And don't miss Sharon Lippincott's comment: "I just wrote a section for my Work in Progress about all the stories packed into a copper Aztec calendar that has hung on walls in four houses for nearly fifty years now....")

Look over the list of people, below. Take your time. A few will stand out because they played a significant role in shaping who you are today. Their words or actions caught your attention, taught you, inspired you, helped you make good choices—and maybe even changed the direction of your life. 
  • your best friend in high school
  • grandparent
  • pilot
  • school bus driver
  • neighbor
  • boss
  • lifeguard
  • parents
  • politician
  • college roommate
  • janitor
  • pastor
  • grandchild
  • professor
  • fireman
  • Scout leader
  • librarian
  • law enforcement person
  • pediatrician
  • sibling
  • teacher
  • garbage collector
  • farmer
  • foster parents
  • Sunday School teacher
  • crosswalk guard
  • aunt or uncle
  • fellow student
  • boss
  • homeless person
  • author
  • teammate
  • a person with Down Syndrome
  • social worker
  • in-laws
  • military veteran
  • a stranger

Did one or more person catch your attention? If so, ask yourself how different you’d be if that person hadn’t come into your life. Jot down ideas now, and in coming days and weeks craft a rough draft.

Sometimes the best life lessons result from dealing with negative people—they model the kind of person you don’t want to be. Ask yourself what you learned from people who:
  • gossip
  • bully
  • lie
  • break promises
  • whine
  • manipulate
  • steal
  • criticize
  • judge
  • abuse
  • complain

Think about people who are:
  • fickle
  • jealous
  • addicted to alcohol or drugs
  • perfectionists
  • irrational
  • unpredictable
  • violent
  • moody
  • temperamental
  • bitter

How did they model the kind of person you did not want to be?

Also think about positive examples demonstrated by those who are:
  • cheerful
  • faithful
  • affectionate
  • helpful
  • patient
  • complimentary
  • grace-filled
  • optimistic
  • kind
  • longsuffering
  • funny
  • gentle
  • soft-spoken
  • generous
  • encouraging
  • affirming

How did they inspire you to be the kind of person you are?

Think of the people who modeled for you:
  • trust in God
  • forgiveness
  • tenacity
  • love of life
  • integrity
  • creativity
  • spunk
  • thoughtfulness
  • inquisitiveness
  • commitment
  • joy
  • self-discipline
  • honesty
  • loyalty
  • humility
  • contentment

Believe this:

Your stories can serve as guides
for your kids, grandkids, great-grands, friends, and other readers.
Your stories can influence who they choose to be.

Write them!

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