Jun 29, 2007

My Personal Influences: 65 People Who Made A Difference in My Life

Over the next few entries, I’ve decided to do a series on the people who have influenced me. I got the idea about a year ago from TIME magazine’s annual 100 Most Influential People in the World edition. Reading the profiles of the men and women who are shaping our world got me thinking about the people who have shaped my life. Who, I wondered, are the influential people in my life?

I drafted a list ranging from obvious choices like my parents to people who barely know me at all and probably have no idea of the impact they’ve had on my life. There’s even a handful of famous folks on my list! While compiling the list was a fairly easy, giving some thought to exactly how each person on the list has made a difference in my life was a challenging—and rewarding—process. It left me feeling grateful and blessed for the people that God has put in my life. I’ve grouped these sixty-five people into seven categories: Family, Formative Friends, Spiritual Guides, Teachers & Mentors, Catalysts (people who I may have known a short time or not very well, but prompted me to make a change in my life that has stayed with me to this day), Inspirations 2007 (people who have inspired me in the past year), and From a Distance (people who I do not know personally and who do not know me, but who nonetheless who have had a strong influence in shaping who I am). It goes without saying the many of the people on my list belong in multiple categories, so should one name appear under Catalyst but not under Friends, that in no way implies that they are not a dear friend! And some of my biggest Heroes & Inspirations are of course Family and Friends.

Sixty-five is not an arbitrary number. I made a list and then counted how many people were on it. In coming years, I’d like to continue to add people to the list as those around me continue to influence and shape me.

I’ve purposely chosen not to use the word “Most” in my Influential List. I think it’s too difficult to quantify who has had the most influence on me. In fact, there are certainly ways in which I’ve been influenced that I am either unaware of or unable to quantify. As a result there will doubtless be people who should be on the list that aren’t. For anyone, who feels that their influence hasn’t been sufficiently acknowledged, my apologies :).

One final note. I’ve chosen to focus primarily on the positive influences, though the reality is that hurtful actions have also had a powerful impact on me as well. In general I’ve chosen not to draw attention to those people or actions. To every single person on the list I can sincerely say “Thank You.”

The names (with individual profiles in each category to come in future blog entries):


Rosalind Maycock
Robert & Roland Thomson
Barbara Leen Maycock
Duane Maycock
William & Enid Thomson
William Leen
Dawn Maycock
Vincent Maycock
Yvette Saliba

Spiritual Influences
Heidi Bauer Starling
Clarissa & Darchelle Worley
Richard Ludders
Carol Paez
The Missionaries of AFM

Teachers & Mentors

Dan Shor
Oystein Labianca
Edwin Hernandez
Paul Viar
Wanda Hopkins
Rex & Clarie Kosack

From a Distance

Rich Mullins
The People from Interference
Keith Robertson
Keith Green
Dwight Nelson
John Grisham

Formative Friends
J Carlos
Greg Wedel
Chandra Maloney
Carissa Berard Cotta
Kim Juhl
Chris Cotta
Judith Andersen
Paul Wood & Christi Snell
Elliot Jeremiah
William Hawthorne
Aaron & Joyce Knowlton
Grant Graves

Alex Prouty
Lori Cerna
Cliff Shoemake
Vince Asanuma
Crystal Pierson
Beverly Cabanatan
Carl Waldron

Inspiration for 2007
Britni Gleason
Aya Sato
Keisha Paez
Aya Kito
Eric Mahinay
Russ & Kanae Quinn
Mai Rhea Odiyar
Vernon Luthas
Ken Pierson
Virleshay Gayatin


Bev said...

great post. i'm stealing this one from you! :P

Anonymous said...

Hi Sean -- It's Marcy Korf Chang, Barbara's friend from AU. I have been thinking of her lately and did a google and to my surprise found you. Congrats on the baby! Would love to email with her. Please pass along my email. marcychang@gmail.com Best Wishes.