We are all a part of every person we have ever met.

We all have good habits and habits we wish we could be rid of, but we don’t often take the time to actively sort out these quirks and choose which ones we want to keep and which we don’t.  I find it difficult to pinpoint some of these traits in myself since being the actor and the audience at the same time can be confusing, but other people are a steady stream of information if you learn to look beyond your own actions, truly observe another, and reflect.

I have learned silence from the talkative; tolerance from the intolerant and kindness from the unkind. I should not be ungrateful to those teachers.
– Kahlil Gibran
People are fascinating.  They are a constant source of outside opinion and perspective that you may have never considered before.  They may say or do things that turn your world upside down.  If you like these traits of theirs, make a conscious effort to incorporate them into yourself as well.  I’m not suggesting you go around mimicking everyone you think is cool, but make the effort to internalize what you like about them.

We can’t help it really, we do it all the time sub-consciously.  Why do you think two best friends often have the same style, sense of humour, and can even sometimes finish each others’ sentences?

My greatest comfort from this quote is knowing that lost friends will always have a place among us.  When we get together with old friends and re-live our memories, the characters in our stories are alive more than just in words, but also in our own selves in the parts of them we have chosen to preserve.  To this end, no one truly ever dies, so long as they remain in the hearts of those they touched in life.

We are all a part of every person we have ever met.  But more than that, we are all a part of our cumulative experiences, of lessons we have learned from other people, other places, and other cultures.  We absorb a lot of these influences one way or another, but I believe that the act of consciously choosing what to incorporate into yourself and what to leave out makes us stronger of character and allows us to forge ourselves into who we want to be.

To quote my good friend Dr. Jenna Bobenna on the topic:

“We may love the wrong person and cry about the wrong things, but no matter how things go wrong, one thing is for sure, mistakes help us find the things that are right for us. We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past. But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here now with the power to shape your day and your future. Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come.”