Under The Influence

by - November 21, 2014

One gets influenced by a lot of people during a lifetime.

I, for example, got influenced by how my parents raised me. Which wasn't very strict. I was (almost) always allowed to go to parties or other events and they didn't tell me, what to do. Therefore I became an independent person, that doesn't really give a damn about other people's opinions.

My brother and me - about 47 years ago
School also influenced me a lot. I remember starting school and being told that girls are good at languages and bad at math. Meaning I got into first grade already knowing (or at least I thought I knew) that I would suck at math. So, why should I even bother to try and understand it in the first place? In fourth grade I had a D on my school report in (you know, what's coming...) math. That was in fourth grade! When I went to secondary school it only got worse. Eventually, my grades were so bad that I asked my brother for help. (This is when it gets funny.) Everytime my brother wanted to explain something to me, I suddenly understood the exercise, before he even finished reading it. This happened about 23 times till my brother finally said the following words: 'Alisha, you don't need my help. You know how to do this, you just need to think about it for a second.'
And he was totally right. Obviously I'm no genius and there are still a loooot of things, I don't understand right away and probably never will. But, I for sure learned that you shouldn't listen to ignorant people, who think that your gender / race / sexuality influences the things you can and can't achieve in life. The only thing influencing your skills is yourself (well, and your brain and DNA and stuff...).

What I'm trying to say is this: You won't reach the top of the mountain, if you're not trying to climb it.

My brother (and my father) were also the ones influencing me to become an atheist. Of course, it was my own decision and I do believe that there isn't anything like a god, but without them, it probably would have taken me years to realize that.
My friends are a big influence, too. They got me to drink alcohol for the first time and I wouldn't go to most parties if it weren't for them.

However, I don't think I ever influenced one of the people mentioned above and if I did, I hope it was in the best way possible.
And please bear in mind that influencing others and pressuring someone are two different things. Neither my family nor my friends have ever forced me to do anything. All the decisions I make are my free will. And yours should be, too.


Extra cheesy quote: Everyone said: 'That's impossible.' Then a person came around, who didn't know that and just did it.

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