In my public speaking and debate class we had to give a 2-3 minute speech about the people that influenced us the most, and we had 20 minutes to write it.
This is what I came up with:
It’s inevitable that people play important roles in our lives. Sometimes we realize this immediately, and sometimes we only see those who changed us years after. I mean, I only now realize why that Cheetah Girls concert meant so much to me in 2nd grade.
The people that influenced me the most were my mom, dad and my incredible AP English teacher. Today I’ll tell you why my parents were so important, and well as how an English teacher saved my life.
We all hear the saying “Daddy’s Girl” when we’re younger, and this was definitely true for me growing up. My dad was my best friend, and I was closer with him than anyone else. He not only told me that sharing is caring, but he showed me that giving in general is so important.
He taught me generosity. His influence started off with me sharing Starbursts as a kid, but now has converted to helping others just because. I’ve learned to be supportive, give because it truly feels good, and share what I have with the world.
My mom, however, impacted me equally.
Although I wasn’t very close with my mom when I was a child, as I grew up, she grew into my closest friend. She taught me compassion. Every time I had a problem, she would listen. She would listen, hug me, and most importantly give me heart felt advice. Of course she cared for her daughter, most moms do.
Yet, what highlighted her compassion was the way she treated others. She would listen to anyone that needed it with her eyes and heart wide open, with so much care for even people she just met. I saw this day by day and it rubbed off on me. I developed such compassion for my friends, family and even people I just met, which quickly became my own favorite trait.
Aside from my parents, one other person truly resonated with me.
I never thought a highschool teacher could impact me enough that I’d remember him years later. However, my AP English teacher, Mr. Quick, holds a special place in my heart. Throughout highschool, most teachers were cookie cutter. They played by the rules, followed the exact curriculum and made no true connection with their students.
Yet, Mr. Quick was different. He connected with us. He talked about real life issues, was honest about our performances and was candid with us, regardless of the subject. He told us that highschool was short, and that in a few years we’d forget all about it. He told us to pursue our true passions, because those were the things that would continue to matter, not what Susie wore to prom night. Overall, he painted the bigger picture, was raw as can be, and made me laugh more than I ever thought I would in an AP English class.
These three have been some of the few people that have affected my life in impactful ways.
Overall, my mom, dad and English teacher helped shape me into who I am today. Being generous, compassionate and unique were all lessons conveyed to me through the actions of these incredible people. Lessons that slowly formed my core beliefs and directly relate to how I came to believe others should be treated. Knowing that the most unexpected people can influence you, I now try to learn from everyone, because I never know who’s impact I’ll remember in 5 years.
PS – I was so nervous speaking but I didn’t faint and I’m still here.
Take a risk, do something that makes you uncomfortable and see how incredible it is on the other side. Why? Because you never know until you try.