Updated: Jan 27
Minnesota Saturday night street dance - it was a carnival atmosphere - it may have been after harvest, like one of my first memories of moving to and starting my teaching career at Stratton.
From a fading gold 1967 Oldsmobile Cutlass an unfamiliar girl stuck her head out the window and said - “get in.” I was 15 from NYC visiting my grandparents; these kids had grown up in this town of 800 all their lives; we had a lot to talk about. The driver let me in the backseat with my companion for the night, a 17-year-old hometown volleyball star. The moment I remember most - well,... I can tell you the music - “Wild Horses” blaring on the 8-track.
Is there any way this situation sounds good - well, maybe to a 15-year-old guy.
I had been asking my parents to send me away from New York City from the time we had arrived there (1967). “Send me to live with one of your brothers back home, Mom.”
After making new friends that night, I was more than ready to move.
Eventually, I would move. In October of my senior year, I landed with my brother (17 years my senior) in a small west-central Illinois town - It was mostly what I hoped it would be - I had incredible classmates!, On the other hand I was not a fan of detasseling corn, or working for an appliance store putting up tv towers (I was afraid of heights), one head-on mismatched crash between my one-day-old purchase of a Fiat 850 and a Suburban, and, of course, walking four blocks to school on arctic winter mornings even though Dean owned three perfectly functioning vehicles (that was his teaching time.)
My brother gave me the best Norman Rockwell foundation I could ever hope for - his wisdom went deep and his lessons found fertile ground. He was an English teacher and a pastor, an army vet and solid family man. He ushered me into manhood, though that took a lot of years to catch on.
I wish I had known the Exchanged Life message back then. I think it would have greatly impacted my teen years.
I think, I live where I live and do what I do now, in part, because of the valuable influence he has been. What about you? What were your influencers? What did they rescue you from? And, how have they molded you? Perhaps it was a person, event, crisis, book, or trip, business venture or friendship.
I want to spend this week talking about some powerful influencers. Some might not be a surprise you, but the power and influence they hold may.
I’ll focus on what we are wired for: Acceptance, Worth, and Love.
We’ll also look at three powerful motivators: Desire, Fear and Repulsion.
And finally some responses: Dependence, Discernment, Transformation
Join me for this journey..