Here’s a Father’s Day message for you.
J.D. Salinger’s “Holden Caulfield” is an influence. Teenagers identify with him and his angst.
Like him in “Catcher in the Rye”, they are uneasy. They wonder if the world is against them.
They question and wonder about everything.
The book’s influence was powerful.
In time, I realized the world wasn’t against me.
The rest of the world was only indifferent to me.
The world did not care what I did.
Only my parents and other loved ones did.
As Holden’s sister Phoebe did. She tried to help.
Whatever we make of life is up to us.
College students read a short story before a test.
The story was about a drunk soccer hooligan.
Apparently they identified with his behavior.
They shared his irresponsible self-image.
On tests, they scored poorly. Was self-image the cause?
They considered how they differed from the drunk.
Drinking, fighting and wasting your life.
This group did far better than the first group.
This group scored even higher than the other.
So I ask you, is stupidity contagious?
How does what we put into our minds influence us?
If we associate with losers, what happens to us?
We pick up their attitudes, don’t we?
In tech talk, garbage in, garbage out.
If we read about successful people, what happens?
Now here’s the most important question of all:
How does our example influence others?
Are we strong role models - or hooligans?
Do we want to make a difference for good or evil?
It really is up to us how we behave.
Our example may powerfully influence others.
Consider your words and your actions.
Others who look up to you are watching.
Do you serve your life’s purpose or anything less?
Are you showing others how to act and live?
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