A question came up during a discussion about the issue of adoption. My dear friend was adopted and sought his roots. I have no problem with seeking out one’s original parents and family. I told him that I believe blood is not an essential part of who a person is and becomes.
I firmly believe we are who we are primarily because of relationships, beginning with those who have adopted the child. They make the child what they will become, not their blood parents.
From my hands-on experience, I know that my influence as a psychologist, teacher, and camp director was (and is) considerable. As an old guy, I am blessed to be visited by people who were children at my camp in the 50s and 60s. Staff members and even the professionals and entrepreneurs I worked with for the past 35-plus years still visit.
I am told of my influence on them, and I am fully aware and grateful for their influence on me. I became a better mentor and grew as a person because of the trust and closeness we had between so many of us. And what of the benefits to their staff and family? That was the reason I was invited to be part of their lives.
Without question, I know the experience and power certain relationships have on their participants. It makes or breaks them. Nowhere in this is blood involved.
The love and time we give to those we live and work with is all about our power to empower. As a leader, the good and the bad come out. Nothing is hidden, and all is influenced.