Sunday, August 28, 2011

Life Together

"Even though a gifted speaker can inspire people to change their lives, the long-term cementing of that change depends on more intimate and consistent interactions. It is in more personal interactions" that significant influence takes place. (MaryKate Morse)

I tend to enjoy workshops, seminars, conferences -- pretty much anything in my areas of interest that creates fodder for thought, especially if it also creates space for conversations with others about whatever is presented. I've attended a decent number of these events, often listening to an abundance of truly gifted speakers who speak inspiring thoughts and do so in inspiring ways. Such people have had some influence on my life.

There are other people in my circles who are not as well known, with whom I have more frequent and personal interaction. Not all are particularly gifted speakers, writers, or even thinkers. Each one is unique, and many use their abilities very well, but they don't necessarily stand out in a crowd. Many are quiet and few people -- themselves included -- really realize the magnitude of their impact. Still, some of these "average" (in areas more popularly discussed) people have had a significant influence in my life.

What makes the difference? Presence and proximity, interacting with them in everyday life and special circumstances and stuff in between. Seeing how they respond to things that come their way. A friend who has encountered struggles and faced them well has far more credibility in my mind than a ten-foot-tall disembodied head on a screen.

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