What an intriguing statement. What a thought provoking compilation of words. I have never read something so short that sparked such a sense of curiosity, thought, comparison, and interlude within my own being. I am who I am because of them. Wow.
When I first read this quote, I am going to be honest, I saw it in a negative light. I loved it, but I thought it was a statement to the oppressed, the bullied, those who suffer from peers or just the words and actions of those around them. But, with further investigation, and a little bit of time to allow it to resinate in my mind, I realized that it is more than that. This quote speaks to the times of enlightenment, the times of learning, of growth and maturation all due to the help, guidance and/or wisdom of another being.
As humans, we allow our lives to be shaped and altered by the things, and mostly, the people around us. We are a compilation of the things we learn from those whom we choose to spend time around. Taking on two sides of the spectrum, this little quote really reflects life in it entirety. There are people we will encounter who will shape us into better humans; who will love us, support us, teach us and watch us grow into bright, young beings; these people will speak volumes into our lives, perhaps even persuade us to change aspects of ourselves in order to become better humans. In my life, these people would be my parents, and a few close family friends. Then there are those who change us in a more somber, indifferent way. Maybe its the bully you spent all of Middle School actively avoiding, or the girl who made snide remarks about your outfits every single day. Or maybe, it’s your boss who talked down to you each day, making you feel worthless, stupid, unimportant. Whomever it was, these people caused you to think differently about yourself. These people changed you and made you into a different person. Each day, chipping away at the masterpiece that you are, until they created who they wanted, or at least, who they thought they wanted.
In the case of the negative, I would just like to say that, even though it is difficult, do not let the mean people of the world become a direct reflection on who you believe you are. Do not let their words and actions have too much power in your life to change you for the worst and forever. These people only bring you down because you are above them. If you give them too much power, you can be left broken and lost. Stand true to who you are, no matter how tough it gets. You hold the power over your own life, not them.
But, life is tricky. It’s a balance. A very fine balance. When do we stop letting people change us? How do we know who will change us for the better or for the worst. The world can be cruel and even though it looks like someone is trying to help you, that might not always be true. But the world is also beautiful, loving, and inspired. I have met many people in my life who have changed me for the better; some of those with whom I have become friends have spoken volumes in my life, making me realize certain things that perhaps I may not have realized without their love and support and guidance. Others have come into my life and left my broken, rundown and miserable. But that is life. That is what happens. You are who you are because of each and every person that has entered your life. You may not realize it, but they have shaped you and moulded you, maybe just very slightly, but altered you nonetheless, into who you are at this very moment.
They say you become most like the 5 people you frequently hangout with, so choose wisely. But also, be cautious of those who are only there to tear you down, and be inviting of those who want to build you up with positivity and love. You can not live in fear of those who will mistreat you, it is bound to happen multiple times in your life, and being overly cautious can result in possibly missing out of a person whom you have misjudged and who’s goal was to encourage you to the very end.
This isn’t something to be afraid of, its merely something to ponder as you make your way down the path of life. People change, life goes on. Where would we be without those who have left us broken? Where would we be without those who lifted us up? Everything happens for a reason, so don’t be afraid. But above all else guard your heart (Proverbs 4:23) and really choose wisely who you allow into your life because in the end, each person you met impacts you, some more than others, but an impact nonetheless.
Inspire, and impact those around you in a positive way.