DISCLAIMER: I will be using pseudonyms or initials for all these people for privacy reasons, except my mom, who will bear the name “my mom”.
- my mom–Besides the fact that she gave birth to me, she taught me how to be more unselfish and sacrifice for others. She does everything for the good of our family, and not just herself. Growing up, she even sacrificed some pleasurable things for herself so that my sibling and I could have them. From this, I have learned (and am still learning) how to be more willing to sacrifice things for the good of others, and not just think about me, myself, and I all the time. Before I became a Christian, I was VERY selfish. Now, I am NOT saying that all people who aren’t Christians are selfish. On the contrary, some of the people in my life who aren’t Christians are some of the least selfish people I know! However, for me personally, after I became a Christian, my mom’s lessons and sacrifices became more apparent to me and I started to apply them more to my life. For example, in the past several years, I have started to care more about hurting people in my life and online. I credit this partly to my mom’s example she gave to me of unselfish sacrifice over the years.
- J—She is my mentor and friend. She has impacted my life in that she changed my future by believing that I could get a job and drive a car when I felt no one else did. She also helped me go through the process of finding the job that I have now. Her perseverance and her spirit of never giving up on me when everyone else seemed to, helped me through these past five years have hope and courage to recreate my dreams and even gave me the courage to write this blog! Despite all the stresses in her life, she, like my mom, always puts others before herself.
- Erica* (*=NOT her real name)–She has been my friend for almost 11 years! She has accepted and loved me even when I was being difficult or demanding. She has a true heart for other cultures and wants to share the love of Christ with everyone around her. She is one of the most genuine Christians I have ever met. Yes, like all of us, she does occasionally sin. However, she is honest and upfront about her struggles and most everything. She is also pretty level-headed and doesn’t lose her temper easily, if at all. I also want to strive to be more like her in these ways. I, too, want to strive to be honest and genuine in all my dealings with people. I strive to be loving and accepting of others, as she is.
- Kelly * (*=not her real name)–I’ve been her friend for about five, if not more, years. Like Erica, she is also honest about her struggles and triumphs. She takes the time to care about people in ways they may or may not normally expect. For instance, even though she is busy with school and work, she took the time to make a beautiful bracelet for my birthday, not to mention paying the shipping costs to get it from the place where she lives (not too close by) to my home. She also tries her very best to listen to other people’s concerns. When someone tells her that they were hurt by her, she tries to resolve the issue where the other person got hurt by her. She doesn’t let things slide, or offer obligatory excuses. I strive to go the extra mile like Kelly to make sure people around me, whether, at home, work, or church feel cared about by me. For instance, at work today, one of my managers was having a stressful day. He totally did not expect this, but one of my guy friends and one of my gal friends got together and decided to let him know that yes, we do care about him and hope he feels better. We did this by buying him his favorite snack and by getting him a card encouraging him through this tough time. I don’t do this to brag on myself or even my good friends, but to let people know how much Kelly’s care for me has inspired me to “pay it forward,” so to speak.
- Veronica* (*=not her real name)–I’ve been friends with her for a couple years, but her joy and enthusiasm for God and people has changed my life. Also, she was there for me when I got very upset at a situation at work, and in my life in general, and broke down in tears. I was really depressed and angry at that time. However, her joy and encouragement to me to seek God and that I had a good purpose in life was what I needed to get back up on my feet again, so to speak. Her joy and enthusiasm for life, even when things get tough, is what I want to cultivate for myself in my life. Because of her, and because of my experience three years ago where I almost died, I strive to find joy in life everyday. Sometimes, I do fail, but people like her keep me going even when I feel like giving up.
These five women have impacted my life the most not only because of their love and kindness but also because of their unselfish and caring attitudes toward me and others. What five women have most impacted your life? Why? Please feel free to comment.