WASHINGTON, March 26, 2014 — There are many things that influence our lives, and some of them follow us from the cradle to the grave. These life lessons seem to direct us in the many decisions we have to make concerning the directions in which our lives are centered, and the things in life that are most important to us.
Our happiness to a large degree depends on the things that have made the most positive influence in our lives, such as family, church, community and the people who have left a lasting memory of good will. Many of the positive memories will follow us in ways that may not be visible from day to day, but are ever-present, and form the very essence of our being.
When we offer a helping hand to someone in need, or are polite during a trying time, we display the fruits of another person’s influence in your life, the impact that someone has had in shaping your life.
As I look back on my own life, and the many people that I have known, I can’t help but feel that I have been kept by the hand of God, and have been given every possible reason to work a little harder, and climb a little higher, and to be a little kinder to those that are the closest to me in life, because, these are the attributes and moral fabric of the people that were there to influence my life in the most positive way possible.
But I will admit, “Life is much easier said than done” I find myself wondering at times why in the heck did I do that? Heck I knew better! But as I remember, those that were the most influential and were the most positive people in my upbringing, were not perfect. They did believe very strongly in the process of repentance.
As a youngster growing up and having great admiration for these that were to be the most influential in my life I could see nothing but the best, but in later years I realized that they were also just people, but people of good will, and were willing to change the things that needed changing in order to be a better citizen and person.
I have always thought, if I could have searched the heavens for whom I wanted for my Mother and Father, I would have chosen the one’s given me. My mother had no bounds to her love for her children, even the times when she probably thought about kicking us out of the house. She went the extra mile in understanding and tolerance when my brother and I seemed to be on the road to destruction; somehow she believed we would someday grow up.
There were times that she could have just given up, but I am glad she didn’t. And at age seventy-five, I find that I to sometimes have to remember the lessons that were taught to me by my mother… the most important being patience.
My father was also one of the most understanding and hard workingmen that I have ever known. During my growing-up days my father ran cattle on about 800 acres, we also had sheep, and while he wasn’t busy enough with this, we also had dairy, but before starting a hard working day tending livestock and the land, he also drove the school bus.
But what I remember him for mostly was his honesty. I am sure like most men when doing business there were times when he could have cut a few corners and possibly miss- lead someone and come out with a better deal, but that wasn’t him. I believe basically that my father was just an honest man, but he also had one of the greatest blessing of all, he was raised by an honest hard working father himself, and that made all the difference.
Yes, as I look back, I have nothing to complain about. And yet with all the good positive influence I received growing up, I still fall short and find myself reaching back in time to remember the people that shaped my life, knowing that what these people and my parents taught me will never go to waste, just as life teaches us:
”Teach the children the right way, and in their older years, they will remember”.