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The Insight

The Influence of The Present

What makes up somebody’s personality is the characteristics that they have. Senior Megan Loeffelholz tried to be a better person so she could have a positive impact on those who surrounded her.
“It’s what makes you,” Loeffelholz said. “Surrounding yourself with good people, first of all, builds you up, and they help you feel like you’re a better person. It can help you be that better person to other people. A lot of them have their passions, and then they can help you find your passions.”
The people you keep in your circle can impact you negatively or positively. A reason someone would act the way they do is because of their life from when they were younger.
“It could have to do with the way they grew up or not,” Sophomore Beatriz Farias said. “Maybe they reflect on things that they didn’t like when they were growing up. But I think it has a lot to do with who you’re around when you grow up because you look up to a lot of people.”
The influence of others around someone may have an unknown impact on their character. History teacher Julie Duncan brought positivity into the classroom even at times when she felt down. Her students were the ones who brought her joy and made her have a better day.
“I try to be that glass is half full even on my bad days,” Duncan said. “When I get to school, I try to forget my bad and be positive with the kids, not bring my gloom into the classroom. A lot of the times when I’m in the classroom, the kids will turn that mood around for me.”
To make sure Loeffelholz surrounded herself with people who had a positive influence on her, she thought about what her actions would look like when she spent time with them.
“I try to separate myself from people who I think I would be a bad influence with,” Loeffelholz said. “I surround myself with people that kind of align with my values or just don’t surround myself with people in that area at all.”
Consequences of an action are determined by whether or not there was an encouraging or harmful influence. To Loeffelholz, she believed that there was a butterfly effect to her actions, so she thought about being more positive in the things she did.
“I think there’s always a butterfly effect for everything I do,” Loeffelholz said. “It’s like when people say, ‘A small change can make a big difference’ and do little things like volunteering at church or the soup kitchen. I think that the whole thing just goes both ways. You can smile at someone, and then they can smile back, and that can be their first smile of the day, but it can also just be you bumping into someone in the hallway and not saying sorry, and then they’re upset for the rest of the day.”
Being led by a religious example is something that Duncan incorporated into her life. She found it important to have integrity and think about her actions.
“I just try to do the right thing,” Duncan said. “I try to know what’s right and wrong and integrity. Do what’s right when nobody’s looking and I try to do that. I still love the ‘What Would Jesus Do, WWJD’. I still love that and I’m trying to follow that.”
Keeping everyone included and not separated into groups is something that Farias found important. She believed that in our society everybody is grouped, therefore people are being excluded.
“We could actually be more open to everybody,” Farias said. “Our age it’s like everyone’s so separated and everyone’s in so many groups, and it’s like, ‘These are my friends, those are your friends.’ I just think I would wish later on that everyone would just get along. No one will judge someone for the things they have or what they don’t have. Everyone would just get together. You know, it happens sometimes, but most of the time it’s your own circumstance.”

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About the Contributor
Brynn Jackson, Writer/Photographer

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