Someone is always watching: our parents, siblings, aunts, friends, neighbors, and strangers. Even the government. Do many of these people really influence our behavior? Probably not many. My mother was the greatest influence in my life. She filled our home with love and music and took me to many of her Masonic affairs. She also saw that I became a Job’s Daughter. Job’s Daughters is for girls between the ages of 10 and 20 and help you gain valuable leadership experience and learn new skills that will help you meet life’s challenges.
As the youngest of three, mother had high hopes for me, particularly after my sister (who had the opportunity to sing in the Bells of Saint Marys, but eloped instead at sixteen, and my brother who made a career in the marines. Being a single parent, my mother worked days and performed with her music nights and weekends. I was a latchkey kid before anyone knew what that meant.
Why is influence important? We’re always exerting influence simply by being who we are, saying what we say, and doing what we do. The only real choice we have in the matter is whether or not the influence we exert is good or bad. As I said above, you never know who is watching you.
TV is another influence on us, positive and negative. All ages are influenced in some way by what we see on TV: the promise of weight loss and a healthier body, what we should eat, cosmetics that will hide wrinkles and dark circles, and how to dress/look like your favorite movie star.
And then there’s the Internet. You can learn how to assemble a bomb, where to shop for guns, and just about anything your heart desires. The Internet scares me. Just the other day, I must have mistakenly hit a key that searches colleges, because ever since then I’ve been inundated with daily emails and phone calls about my interest in education. If I were interested in more formal education, I would never go about it this way or spend time with a stranger who must be desperate to latch on to new candidates (or guinea pigs). That experience had a negative influence on me.
We often meet resistance and failure if we try too hard to influence others to follow in our wake. What better service can I be to our daughters than being a good example to them?