She's in her 70s now, but she's still just as interested in writing as she was when I was a kid watching her compose stories longhand at our kitchen table some 40 years ago. She's always learning new things and finding new ways to express herself in prose and verse. She also enjoys helping other writers develop their skills and people in general experience her love of the written word.
On top of all of that, she's one of my biggest fans, complimenting me often on my columns — especially when I include stories about her grandchildren!
Both Mr. A and my mom taught me through their examples of hard work, perseverance, intelligence and wit, as well as their interest in and desire to help others. As I've read the comments of former students of Mr. A during the last few weeks and have heard about my mom's play, it's occurred to me that I'm not the only one who has benefited from those lessons.
And just as they have done in the past, they've inspired me yet again. This time, they've taught me that I need to try harder to be a positive influence on others, whether I'm at work, at home, at church or elsewhere.
I owe my career to these two and so many other positive influences in my life. If I've really learned the lessons they've taught, it's my responsibility to do for others what they've done for me.
Such is the duty we all have to those who influence our work and personal lives for good. And that's a lesson we should strive to remember.
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