This Post by S. J. Brown
All of us are Influenced by the people in our daily lives, our parents most of all. They taught us right from wrong, our work ethics and how to treat others. My parents taught me all of these things and more, but not my love of nature. I think that just came naturally and evolved over the years.
Let’s not forget about our siblings and friends their influence stays with us all our lives as well.
A high school English teacher (Mr Campbell) influenced my perspective on writing. His influence was combined with that of fellow authors. This led me to write articles, books, and even this blog.
My husband Jay has influenced me greatly. Thanks to him I am much more at home in nature, and a bit more outgoing. Traveling, climbing trees or rock faces, and wandering through the forest were not things I did before I met him. I am still not crazy about boats, but I will get in them now.
I was influenced by a world famous photographer when I heard him speak years ago. No, I don’t remember his name, but I remember his words, “As photographers our job is to observe and record, not interfere.” I let his influence guide me when I encountered a mother bear in distress over being separated from her cub. I could see the cub, but she could not. I did not interfere, instead I left the area and let the two of them reunite on their own. Of course I took a few pictures with a telephoto lens before I left.
I kept his words in mind, but chose to side step them then I encountered a duck in distress. It had lost a large portion of it’s beak, most likely from a snapper turtle attack. I couldn’t see how it could possibly survive. But this was a wild creature,not a pet. I am not qualified to care for wild animals. So I contacted someone who was.
I have noticed my influence in the writings of others when more natural elements become part of their stories. My presentations to school groups had influenced some students to be more aware of the natural world and it’s residents.
While recently observing a polar plunge I wondered what influences persuaded them to brave the icy cold waters of the Potomac River.
Often those we influence, return the favor. When I was raising my daughter I tried to influence her to be more independent than I was. She has influenced me to be more confident and less inhibited. My sisters and I influenced Mom to be a bit more outgoing and a little less lady like from time to time.
Who has influenced your life?
Have you influenced others?
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Read about her experiences in the field in Close Ups & Close Encounters
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S. J. Browns picture books for children are available on her website.