Sunday, September 6, 2009

Defining Moments

Back in 1970, back when middle school was called junior high, at Monroe Jr. High School in Inglewood, California, there was an amazing English teacher. A tall, slender woman who wore tortoise-shell reading glasses. Her name was Mrs. Brown. And she was the one who took the time to tell me, a tall, skinny, nerdy twelve year old, that I should be a writer. I'd written a play and she called me up in front of the class, giving me three-A's, three-stars, and three-words I'll never forget - you should write.

Back then, I wanted to be a banker or a CFO. I simply loved math. But along the way through all my lines of work, even banking, I found that my major consistent job duty was some form of writing, be it news, policy and procedures, candidate summaries, or speech writing. And here I am today, writing books for a living.

I'll never forget that defining moment - those three words from Mrs. Brown. Her voice is as clear as day, as well as the encouraging look on her smiling face.

Perhaps we should look up our encouragers and thank them. I'll bet they'd like to know they made a difference. What a world this would be if we all took a moment to acknowledge someone in a positive, motivating, absolutely defining way. I call these people everyday heroes! The thing is, they don't come along every day. But sometimes, all it takes is one moment to tell someone their light is shining bright!

Who made a difference and encouraged you along the way? Who took the time to tell you your light was shining?

1 comment:

Liane Spicer said...

Marissa, this struck a chord! I wonder how many of us would be writing today without the defining words of certain teachers and friends?

I had a teacher in sixth form whose encouraging words on my "great facility with language" - scrawled at the end of an assignment - I remember verbatim; it was my first serious validation. I plan to dedicate a book to her. Then there was the friend whose encouragement actually got me started a few years ago. I've thanked him already, but I'll always be in his debt.