Throughout life we come across many different people or experience different events that have a great impact on our lives. Growing up, we are always asked who is your role model or who influences you. Sometimes it is hard to answer that question because we come across some amazing people in our lives that can easily said. When it comes to events, we have great milestones like weddings, births, graduations, job promotions, and much more.
Now that I am older I look at the question differently and truly understand the meaning of influence. Influence is defined as the capacity, action, power or process of producing effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc. of another or others. When I look at the definition what sticks out to me is that influence deals with the effects on the actions, behavior, opinions of another. This means that a person or event that is influential must cause you to want to give back or act. Often times we mistake admiration for influence. I can admire many qualities about a person, but just because I admire those qualities doesn’t mean that I have be called to do anything.
There isn’t just one person who influences that I am going to discuss today, I am influenced by the younger generation. I know this may seem strange, but today’s youth have a major impact on how I view things in society. Many people are afraid of the future because of the actions and mentality of the younger generation as a whole. I must say that there are times where I have to give MANY of them the side eye because of their actions. They influence me because I want to see them succeed especially because they will be in positions of power when I am older. They will make decisions that will affect me, and I feel many of today’s youth are misguided.
In the age of technology with social media, the age of reality TV, and with the media as a whole, the youth show they are confused and look toward the wrong sources for inspiration. I know many people will say that the parents should be more responsible when it comes to raising a child, but in my line of work I have seen very dedicated parents who want the best for their children, but are unable to compete with all of the unrealistic ideas of what life should be like.
I started this blog as a way to help women look good, feel great, and live better. We need to focus more on the younger generation to dispel myths about body image, popularity, “reality TV” and so forth. We have to teach them about tolerance and celebrating differences because we are all wonderfully and uniquely made. The younger generation influences me to be a better person and role model because I have many people who look up to me. I need to be more of a positive role model to show them that it is ok if you do not follow in the footsteps of your favorite reality star and their unrealistic life. We glorify the negative images and it will take a lot more work to help renew their thinking. We need to encourage them to be more creative and hardworking to know that many things in life do not come easy.
In my career field I give back on a daily basis. Whether it is just my time, my knowledge, or my advice I have a huge impact on many people daily. I want to have more of a direct mentoring role for young women especially to help their transition in to adulthood and for them to have a positive self-esteem and want to become productive citizens in society. I have a group of girls that I currently mentor and they influence and inspire me to do more because of the great progress that I see them making.
Because a great mentor can make all the difference, Coca-Cola has teamed up with Magic Johnson, Common and Debra Lee of BET Networks to give four young people the apprenticeship experience of a lifetime. Visit MCR.com/PayItForward to nominate an aspiring youth and help pay it forward to the next generation. You’ll also be automatically entered for a chance to win $5,000 for each nomination you make (up to five nominations per person).