Royce Shook

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Those who shape us

I was watching a Jan Arden special a few days ago and she said something that I thought was interesting. She said, that one of the most common questions she is asked, “What was your big break?” For those of you not familiar with Jan Arden, she is an icon Canadian singer, writer, comedian. To get a taste of her music I recommend you watch this video of one of her Canadian Hits, "I have a Good Mother".

She answered the question by saying, “there is not one big thing that brought her to the place she was at, but a series of little things that made her what she is.” She went on to talk about some of the people who had helped her in small ways.

I then watched the movie starring Tom Hanks as Mr. Rogers and in that movie, he also talks about remembering those who helped us along the way. Two different variations of the same theme.

We do not become the person we are today without the support, help or hindrance of those we know. As infants are parents supported us, when we started to take our first steps, they were there to help us up when we stumbled, fell, and cried. When we got our first pet and then lost that pet, we had friends who cried with us and who helped us see the future was not as bleak as we thought. When we gained our first true love, they helped shape our view of the world, and when we lost them other friends stepped in to help us see the good in the world.

Friends, lovers, family shape who we are, and we need to remember that just as they shape us, we help shape them and their attitude toward the world.

For those who are my age, we have children that became the men and women they are today because of our help, love, understanding and our mistakes. If we are lucky, our children have children, our grandchildren, who only know us as we are now. Our grandchildren, nor I suspect our children do not know the struggles we overcame to become who we are. 

Our grandchildren do not know the world in which we grew up. They have their own world that we do not know. It is our responsibility to communicate with them and learn about their world and share with them the stories of our past, so they can know what helped shape us, which in turn shapes them.

Life is good, but we need to remember and learn from those who have come before. 

Those who shape us

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