Responsibility and Influence I

I was privileged to be the 'special guest' at a ladies' coffee and dessert night in Mittagong last week. I had to answer some questions on the topic 'responsibility and influence', so I'll be posting my answers (plus additional comments I just thought of) here over the next few days.

What influenced you as a child and young person?

  • Living in a third world country – why is everyone so poor and we are so rich? Why should I be the lucky one? How can I reconcile two completely different universes? One where chocolate and an ipod is a necessity. The other where some people don’t even have sugar to put in their tea and no electricity or education.

  • Seeing more things than the average child, and having a lot more experiences.

  • Moving around a lot. A feeling of rootlessness. I belong nowhere, yet I can ‘fit in’ most places.

  • Growing up in a Christian community of truly dedicated and committed people. Missionaries to Pakistan gave up a lot to go.

  • Being a Christian minority in a majority muslim country. If Christianity is so true, then why are all these millions of people rejecting it? And how come there are so many really nice Muslims?

  • Boarding school from age 11 to 16. Having to develop independence at a young age. This affected a lot of my attitudes in later life.

  • Some really godly, loving people who just shine for Christ. Their influence has been incalculable.

  • The prayers of my two grandmothers and a family atmosphere of Christian commitment and faith.

  • Growing up in a society that doesn't like women much! I had to cover my head and be continually chaperoned in public as a teenager. Unfortunately it didn't help much with negotiating the continual public sexual harrassment that is inflicted on all women in Pakistan. I am wildly suspicious and of anything that even sniffs of sexism and have very strong emotional reactions to it.

  • Seeing fabulous, raw scenery. Black night skies, fields of wild flowers, Himalayan storms, snowcaps, dusty deserts, mountain moonscapes.

  • The ability to save money and not spend needlessly! Useful in later life to get through Bible college, although now I do tend to hyperventilate over even necessary purchases.