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Mariam Sambe

Researcher - Health Education,

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Who has influenced you the most in your life?

George Eliot once said: "Blessed is the influence of one true, loving human soul on another".
It seems to me that everyone has been influenced by someone to pursue a certain career or to follow a certain path in life.
Who is that person for you? And how did he/she influence you?

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  • May 21 2013: My teachers who did not believe in me. This is where I realized you can use bad influence to create the good.

    But to able to make that conversion I need to say my family. They were my safety net for taking intelligent risks in my life.
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    May 29 2013: MOTHER NATURE
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    May 24 2013: The people I have never met.
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    May 24 2013: My grandfather who is an electrical engineer. He is still working happily even though he is now 72 (by saying this I'm giving you the reason why I learn a lot from him).

    Others; Muhammad SAW, my mother (for her strong will at almost anything), Rumi, and Mother Teresa. :]
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    J Chang

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    May 23 2013: I would give this honor to someone that I dated in the past. He introduced me to TED, and that pushed me to expand and explore my beliefs, thoughts, and limitations. His influence initated many conversations on subjects that I once thought was impossible. Together we created a TEDx conversation group in Houston - the Houston Shakers, and since our breakup, the Houston Shakers have blossomed into 200 members. He may not physically be in my life right now, but he will forever be in my heart and spirit - Thank you Crickets.
  • May 21 2013: I may not be the best of really anything but like anyone I could always dream. I'm nineteen and in college and still to this day I ask Ms. Schutz for advice. Ms. Schutz was funny, intelligent, gave the best advice and was overall exceptional. Life was not the best, and for most I'm sure it wasn't but what made things easier was going to my English class where I'd actually be distracted from everything else. I have a lot of friends, and some can even say I'm popular. I had a job my senior year in high school and moved out. When I did I hung out with a few people on the football team. My senior year of high school was different because it made me feel like I was independent; going to school on my own, going to work close to closing then going to my jujitsu class at 8:20pm. Life was busy and I was okay with that. Being busy distracted me from other things. I'm in college now and things are not the best. I have problems all of the time but I still pass all of my classes with an A or a B and I do this because I have an inspiration, a teacher, and a real friend. It's really hard to consider anyone I know a real friend because being around them either gets me arrested, into an unwanted fight, argument, loss of other friends, and even stress during my finals and everything really just starts to weigh me down but then in the end I focus on who's here and always going to be here and that is my high school English teacher and my best friend Ms. Schutz. I'll never forget the day that our English class went to the J. Paul Getty Museum. This was during a time where my hopes and dreams just started to seem unrealistic. I didn't feel like many of my friends cared and if they did, they cared in a messed up, unfriendly, and demotivating way. I remember going to the restaurant next to the museum with my teacher, she made me feel like a good student and let me know she believed in me. It meant a lot and it’s still in my head till this day.
  • May 21 2013: I wasn't influenced by anyone to head in the direction that I've been heading. I just always kind of fell into things and then go encouraged after showing at least a small bit of talent at it. Probably the closest thing to an inspirational influence that I either had or have would be Roger Ebert because I saw the passionate and love he put into his writing and criticism that it really just made me want to do whatever I did with the same level of passion that Ebert used in his work.
  • May 21 2013: Hi Mariam,
    Initially, my parents. Because of them, my childhood was full of wonder, music, art.

    Now, it is my husband who has made, and continues to make, an enormous impact on my life. We have been together for almost 16 years, and as well as I know him, he can still surprise me. We share a love for music, but his goes deeper than I can imagine. But when I can't fathom it, he opens up and shares it with me. His talent and skill goes beyond what I have ever learned, but when we make music together, he embraces my skill which lifts us both up higher. He shows me how wonderful a mother I can be. He inspires me, motivates me, gives me the freedom in the world to be exactly who I am. And he tells me, that I do the same things for him.
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    May 21 2013: Hello Mariam:>)
    Without question, my mother is the person who influenced my life the most by demonstrating kindness, compassion, empathy, integrity, peace, contentment, calmness even in the face of extreme challenges, passion for life, joy, humor, curiosity, open heart, open mind, unconditional love......I could go on and on....

    She demonstrated this foundation for life in every moment from the time she gave birth, until her death. There was no punishment, preaching, lecturing, scolding, or even raising her voice. She taught by example, and her "being" caused me to want to "be" like that as well:>)

    She was certainly the first, and one who influenced me most. However, the gifts of openmindedness and open heart taught me to consider ALL information, so many people have influenced me in the journey throughout the life adventure.

    Another great influence from the time I was a child was my father, who was violent and abusive. He taught me how NOT to be. I feel lucky to have observed the two polarities from the time I was a child, and somehow I knew I had a choice.
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    May 21 2013: I`ve been influenced by different people in different parts of my life:
    in my social life [I agree with Robbert-jan Brems],those teachers who didn`t believe in me+those classmates who thought that they were better than me while they were not![but now I thank them all because they were reasons for my self-improvement.]
    in fasion,Giorgio Armani.
    in my private life, Imam Musa sadr+Mother Teresa+ Dr.Ali Shariati+Helen keller.[I think I have something in commen with these people]

    BUT in my whole life:My Mother, [for me] she is the symbole of patience,kindness and love.
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    May 30 2013: my aunt who is a mental health patient.
    cool question.
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    May 30 2013: my awesome dad :') he taught me about life: making wise decisions, firmly standing on your principles, being emotionally strong, staying contented with what you have, keeping relationships and simply being happy.
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    May 30 2013: My Parents at first, because they thought me fundamentals such as persistence and being inquiring!
  • May 28 2013: by far the most influential person in my life was my father who worked himself up from laborer to upper management and turned down the ceo position because he did not want his family to face racial prejudice.

    but need to reference my uncle who fought in WWI and gave back his medals as he boarded the bus to the interment camp and was always smiling.

    or my other uncle, pulled out college to go to the interment camp, volunteered and served as a translator in the south pacific and spent 2 years with the us army in Japan as a translator and looking for his mother and sisters to bury at hiroshima.
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    May 26 2013: For me, that someone must be my father,an ordinary Chinese farmer. Father's genration suffered as much as they possibly could. He was born right after the found people's republic of china. Father has no literacy,but is a genius in math, he can do adding up far better than a college student. He undertook the great famine from1957-1960,when the desperate people ate soil. He was beat like an animal by his father brother. Father endured all this and survived.
    After the births of my brother and I,he continued to toil and struggle, because before his own marriage,he had to make money for his parents and their numerous progenies. My mother is a handicapped woman,so my father had to carry the weight alone. Father worked hard on the farmland, from dawn to dusk,year after year, making deficient money for daily live and school bill. Although weight seemed impossible to carry for a farmer, he held his head up high, he never got distracted or lost heart, nor he ever complained for a moment. Father worked decently, meant no offense to anyone, but he was bullied and humiliated by other villagers. Now, sons have grown up, father is still far from comfort zone. He dedicated his life to carrying his family, but his deficiency in education restrains his conviction to be thoroughly performe, which drives me studying hard. Though we lived in outright poverty, father's decency has immense influence in my life. It dawned on me that the world is a mean and nasty place, bullies and humiliation and insult will whack if you are not strong enough, so be invulnerable yourself is the only way to resist inequality. Father's life is an ocean of knowladge, where I learn to live my life.
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    May 24 2013: That is an easy one... God
    I would like to think that God is guiding me every step of the way.
    Otherwise, I sure am wasting a lot of time.
  • May 23 2013: I am blessed to work in an occupation that I am passionate about called occupational therapy.
    At the age of six, my daughter called me the "Optional Therapist" since occupational was a difficult word to pronounce.
    There are three people who influenced my journey from a young age through adulthood.
    My father, self-employed butcher, store keeper, and farmer demonstrated compassion while working with all types of people. Strong work ethics watching him rise early every morning instilled values to always take responsibility if you had to feed a familly of six children. Never give up despite adversity.

    The second person who encouraged me to learn O.T. was a person with the same first name..
    Karen Lau showed me how to treat patients with T.B.I, brain injury while a new COTA at Rehab Hospital
    of the Pacific. We showered naked bodies to improve self-care skills to return back home.

    The third person, Keith Matsunaga, inspired me to work in assistive technology at the age of 50.
    Never too old to learn technology. Through his optimal optimism, I learned to work and train clients
    with disabilities. I ventured as a self-employed contractor working on a government contract with veterans in Hawaii.
    When given a task such as teaching augmentative communication devices, I was encouraged to learn on my own.
    My confidence soared after many late nights of practicing.

    There are a few more teachers, friends, family and my dear husband who supported me to achieve my lofty goals.
    The proof is in the pudding having 4 children who also achieved their own personal goals.
    The oldest is MacGeek/photographer, next is a contractor, a business major with a passion for fashion, and last of all is my daughter who is a nurse practitioner.
    Thank you to all of you for supporting me through this magnificent journey!
    Karen O.
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    May 22 2013: I absolutely adore this question Mariam. Beautiful name might I add. My influence has changed so much up until the last 14 years when my first grandchild was born. It's something to father your own daughter, but seeing your daughter mother a daughter is absolutely soul enlightening. My grandchildren continue to amaze me as much as my own children did and do. So I would say that my children, and my children's children have been the reason I wake up every day!

    God bless!

    -Todd C.
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    May 21 2013: Hands down my parents!
    My dad taught me how to be patient, companionate and understanding and my mum has taught me how to fight for what I believe in and determination.
    I also have to include my brother because he has given me a life lesson that no one can ever teach you and that is to never give up!

    There are also others who have influenced me through out my life and many if them are my friends!
  • May 21 2013: Bill Moyers. His work helped me start seeing that so much of what we see in politics and media is absolute confectioner's sugar made by guys like Michael Deaver to make a pile of shi+ seem like a piece of candy.
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    May 21 2013: my life long partner,NATURE
  • May 21 2013: My teachers are probably the biggest influences I ever had, and also, largely, authors of books.
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      May 22 2013: All your teachers? Elementary school? high school? College?
      • May 24 2013: Well, not all. Few of them actually, mostly from high school and college but those few have had a big influence in my life. They have changed how I perceive the world around me, and how I respond to situations.
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    May 21 2013: Onkel Karl
  • May 20 2013: My father.

    He was an engineer and thought the world needed more engineers.
  • May 20 2013: Walt Disney
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    Jun 1 2013: 'Everyone' , whom i came across in my life influenced me in some way or the other. Parents, my teachers , friends and so on..
    In school because my friends were good at studies i was influenced by them to study well, the leaders of my nation always influenced me to be bold, courageous and i was always determined by them to serve the nation. My father who was a big follower of the first women Prime minister of our country (India) named me with her name, thinking that i would one day become a great leader like her and she is the one who always influenced me in every aspect of my life.
  • May 30 2013: Mariam,
    there have been so many amazing people in my life, but the first person I thought of when I read your question was E.E. Cummings. Not particularly for his works themselves, but for the way he expressed himself. He "ignored conventional grammar and syntax, aiming for a dynamic use of language", used his own 'eccentric' orthography and wasn't afraid of expressing himself, even if it was unorthodox, unconventional and even controversial.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E._E._Cummings
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    May 29 2013: On the other hand, I guess my Mom and Dad were really interesting people. So were my grandparents. And I've had some good friends in my day. I've met people whom I'd be proud to introduce to anyone . . . even the president.

    As for the Liars/Losers I've complained about, I would not trade my life for theirs at all. I am privileged to have seen things change in my lifetime. And that in ways that have defied all logic or even possibility. But that only happened when people were willing to approach things in a novel and unique way. And that is a good thing, especially when it works.

    So how will I change my life? Well, the Liars are all gone! And that's worth something! And some of those went to prison, so that's good too! At least they won't mess with anyone else or do more harm! So I guess I just make a big investment in patience and keep working the problem. In the end, the simple, the honest, and the happy shall prevail. Liars always eventually destroy themselves. Unfortunately, some of those lived well into their 80s. As for me, I'd be lucky to live that long. So I will find a way to be happy today. And the liars can stay . . . elsewhere. I could mention them all by name here. Then I could tell them here to all go to hell! But that would only make me angry and sad. So why not skip that part. Why bother being angry at people who are gone (thank goodness!). And if they aren't gone, at least they are willing to leave me alone, now. And I'll take that over any of the rest of it!

    So I will find a way to be happy today. And the liars can stay . . . elsewhere. And now I have to sign off because I am late. I have an appointment with happiness to keep. Maybe I'll meet a kitten on the way home. bye.
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    May 29 2013: People I don't like and people I never want to see again! THAT is who has influenced me the most in my life. And people are stupid! At least that's true of the specific people I am complaining about. But what do they know? And what do they care?

    Now before I go any further, I have to reshape my thoughts so I can make some sense here. And that is my responsibility here on TED: I have to make sense. Sad thing is that I've had experiences that no one would ever want to experience. I've had to deal with a whole host of individuals (about 20 I could name) who have said and done things that made absolutely no sense to me and to my future. But the difference was power. They had the power and I did not. So there was nothing I could do but live with it. And in the end, everything fell apart.

    In terms of who I believe I am and who I believe that I have had to deal with in the past, there isn't much that I can do today to change things. And for as long as I can remember, things have always been this way. They just always have. To get a bit more specific, (before I wrap this up), I've dealt with people who believed that I had opportunities that were not real; money that was not mine (or if it was mine, somebody else stole it before I ever got it); and people who were willing to hurt me, hurt my family, and destroy opportunities for all of us -- all based upon their own, bizarre, issues.

    So what makes ME so darn Lucky? How on Earth did I acquire such a collection of LOSERS in my life. And how do I deal with the legacy of the bizarre in my own experience? It all boils down to my having been lied to. And after a while, that gets really old!

    So who has had the most influence on my life? The LIARS, that's who! The people I trusted were the same people that you or anyone would have been willing to trust. But as time went by, I saw my hopes die, my dreams die, and today my life is the poorest possible shadow of what might have been. And today I know it
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    May 27 2013: Thank you all for the responses. I'm learning so much from the type of influences we can have in life.