Have you ever thought about how much you’re influenced by those you meet? It’s easy to see in someone else, when they pick up common phrases their friends use. While we see it in those around us, we often don’t realize that we’re just the same way. However, it’s not just as simple as what phrases we pick up, or even what bigger habits we form. It’s a behind-the-scenes life-changing matter.
Imagine for a minute that you’re a drop of rain rolling down a window pane (pardon the thought that we are mostly water). The window is already covered in droplets, some moving faster than others, and some not bothering to move an inch an hour. As you pass a small droplet, you join with it (minds out of the rain gutter, please). You receive something from it, and you leave a little bit of yourself with it when you go. You’re also diverted at least a little bit. This is how it works with the people we meet.
Now take a step back from the window. As you watch the drop find its way down the window it’s fairly easy to see that the path it takes is far from a straight line. In fact, it’s downright crazy. It could start on one side of the window and end up on the other—or make it half way there and decide to come back. My point is, we can’t just shrug off the things we glean from encounters. One way or another, they make us who we are.