I was barely a teenager when I discovered several of my fundamental lifelong heroes. They were people who spoke to me at a very deep level. Their words moved me. I’m sure my early infatuation with them drove me to be the person I am. I didn’t know it at the time, but they would stick to me throughout my life.
They all seemed to ask the questions that I was looking for answers to. Of course, my Aspie traits likely drove this obsession. It was later that I discovered that empathy is a MAJOR part of my core identity. I just feel deeply for those who struggle through life, and for my heroes who made me aware of that characteristic. Some say that Aspies lack empathy, but those are mostly the experts who just don’t understand our flavor of empathy.
My path to empathy comes from me putting the life trials of others into my being. I guess I am supposed to understand what it is to walk in “their” shoes, but the difference escapes me. Because of my humble beginnings, I feel deeply for those I see having even a more challenging life than I did.
Ok, let’s get on with my heroes list:
Instead of trying to give you a bio of each of these heroes, I thought I would just give you a Wikipedia summary. If the image above it too small for you, click on it to see a larger view.
One thing you might notice about this list is that all of them, except for Steinbeck, died before I was born. I knew them only through their words. Another thing that all these guys share is that they concentrated mainly for those outside the mainstream of life.
Here is a little bit about each of these guys
- Will Rogers – He taught me about humor and talking about people without being mean. His daily newspaper column created the foundations for RJsCorner.
- John Steinbeck – He told me stories that opened my world to the life around me. He taught me that adversity builds character with his stories.
- Woody Guthrie – He showed me folk music which, even though I am deaf, lives with me still.
- Leo Tolstoy – He taught me about how the church has strayed from the words of Jesus. Click HERE to see a little about that.
I think that all their guys are what made me a wordsmith myself. They seemed to always find just the right words. Like them, I love telling stories, and since all I really know is what my life has taught me, my stories are more of soliloquies to myself. That is why most of the posts here are in the category of “Having My Say”.