Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Influenced by Books, Movies & Conversations

Paco is reading Atlas Shrugged (required teen read ;-). He told us how he notices the influence the book is having on his day to day life, as different events and conversations make him think about the book. Last year he had a similar experience while reading Enders' Game.

We spoke about other things that influence us. Movies - although, with few exemptions, they tend to have shorter and less meaningful impact. And conversations. What probably makes books different is that we might spend weeks reading a book, and be influenced by that book during that entire period.

I mentioned to the boys the importance of being sensitive to how we might be influencing others. Particularly when we are in a position of authority. For example, when I am at a company meeting in which I am the most senior person, I often try to speak last, so that the rest of the people are not influenced by my opinion before expressing their opinions. Cindy and I do something similar with the boys, with who we like to think we have influence :-). For things that we believe there is a right and wrong, we'll tell the boys what we think very explicitly. But for more ambiguous things we try to be careful and let them come to their own opinions, e.g., religion, politics, art, etc.

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