Who Influences You?
This is a very important question. Determining who influences you is crucial to your character development. You may not realize it at the time. As you spend more time spinning around the sun you learn to appreciate those who influenced you in a positive way. I was fortunate to have several throughout my life. One great lady was my high school choir teacher.
Juanita Potter Ruetz
Our high school choir teacher. My best friend’s mother. An awesome gifted musician. A woman of truly strong and virtuous character. She was an encourager and a wife and mother. Mrs. Ruetz was all this and more. She molded every life she touched, both young and old.
Affectionately known as “Mama Rue” to her students, she took a group of gangly teenagers, some of whom could not read music, and turned them into self-confident young men and women that performed an amazing array of musical works. A woman who never accepted good enough. She always encouraged us to try harder and do better. She is and will be missed.
Juanita was a teacher in all senses of the word. Yes she taught us music. Yes, she taught us working together. But more importantly, thru music, she taught us about life. No one worked harder than she did. She would be playing a score with all four parts, jumping from singing one part to another, turning pages and never dropping a note. And God forbid that you were not looking at her. She cut off the entire group and suddenly, you were singing a solo. It was never done to shame you or belittle, but drive home the point that in order for all us to be better, we must all work as single body. Juanita was both our brain and our heart. She poured her heart, soul and character into all of us thru music.
Many people influence our lives every day. Some directly through personal contact. Some indirectly through media, books, movies, etc. Are you aware of who is influencing you? More importantly, do you know how they are molding, shaping and affecting your character? Knowing is half the battle. The other half is making sure they are positive influencers.
Say Thank You
If you are fortunate to have some great influencers in your life, take time to thank them. Juanita was like a mother to me. I always felt welcome in her class and her home. She always encouraged us try harder and enjoy life. As “Mama Rue” would say, “The show must go on.”