Influential People

Time magazine, April 30 – May 7, 2018 (a double issue) has a cover story entitled: The 100 Most Influential People.  Influential is defined as “individuals whose time is now.  It is not necessarily a measure of power or milestones accumulated.” The magazine adds that “a common theme is how much we can learn from them.”

In the section entitled, Pioneers(22 people), I learned about Peggy Whitson, NASA astronaut and the first female chief of the NASA astronaut office.  She grew up on an Iowa farm and progressed to spending a record 665 cumulative days in space conducting hundreds of experiments.  When she spoke, “the looks on little girls’ faces” was memorable.


I was most impressed by the students from Parkland, Florida (see above) who witnessed 17 of their classmates killed.  The students pictured in the article were: Cameron Kasky, Jaclyn Corin, David Hogg, Emma Gonzalez, and Alex Wind.  In Time’s issue, Barack Obama introduced them to readers saying:  “They have the power so often inherent in youth: to see the world anew; to reject the old constraints, outdated conventions and cowardice too often dressed up as wisdom.  Progress will be slow ad frustrating.  But by bearing witness to carnage, by asking tough questions and demanding real answers, the Parkland students are shaking us out of our complacency.”

In the section entitled, Leaders(28 people), I learned about NFL and Houston defensive lineman J. J. Watt’s response to Hurricane Harvey.  “He raised more than $37 million for hurricane recovery and delivered water, food and supplies to storm victims.  In the process, he lifted the spirits of all Houston residents.”



Receiving most of my attention was Prince Harry (see above).  He has “grown to inherit his mother’s warmth, sense of humor and courage to stand up and champion the causes he truly believes in.”  Among the causes he chooses are the global AIDS epidemic, the stigma that can surrounding mental health issues, and  the Invictus Games (his creation) to help injured armed forces personnel and veterans.

Artists(18 people) was the section that readers might identify with most easily.  I saw Gal  Gadotportraying Wonder Woman.  As the article about her says, she was a “uniquely strong, smart, and charming superhero.”  Audiences agreed.



Nicole Kidman (see above)was described by her friend, Naomi Watts.  Kidman has been a talented actress for 3 decades and her talent has shown in everything she has done.  The “intelligence, compassion, kindness, and humor that make her a great woman make her a fine friend, as well.”



Titans  (14 people)mentions and praises Oprah Winfrey. Nothing  new there.  But I was glad to see Roger Federer (see above) mentioned as well.  Watching his continued success on the tennis court was complimented by his contributions to a foundation which works to improve lives of poor children. Talent and compassion: fine talents both.


Icons (18 people)is the last category Time examines.  Jennifer Lopez (see above)   fits the bill.  I saw her play opposite George Clooney early in her film career, and she ignited the screen.  She was “the first Latina to make $1 million for a film; ditto for the first to have a Number 1 album and movie in the same week.”  As a “beauty icon and entrepreneur,” her talent seems endless. Maybe it is.     







About rcarmean

Two things... First, why have I decided to establish this blog? I like to put essays together. I research an idea or topic looking for information, statistics, stories, quotes, pictures, etc. I enjoy the process and seeing a finished product. I’m told that as I get older, new activities can help maintain energy and keep my brain alert. In other words, I am not doing this for money or fame. Second, regarding the gentleman in the collage of pictures's not me. Those are photos of Christy Mathewson. Why him? When I was young, my primary activity was being sick. It took up much of my time. Eczema (a case so bad I was written up in a medical journal showing doctors what their patients COULD look like), asthma, and allergies. You know allergies: don’t eat this, don’t wear that, and, for Heaven’s sake, don’t touch any of these things (eg, dogs, cats, horses --I only saw horses in cowboy movies and TV shows, dust, swimming pools, my brother --OK, that’s an exaggeration, Rick was a fine brother). In my spare time between doctors' appointments, pills, and ointments, baseball kept me sane. In the 1940s and 1950s, when I grew up, pro footballI and basketball had not yet become extremely popular. Baseball truly was “the national pastime.” I listened to games on the radio (remember it? TV without the picture). I read magazines, books, and newspaper accounts of games. I collected baseball cards. I learned about the game’s history, as well as present. The same with its stars. One man stood out: Christy Mathewson. He was a great pitcher for the New York Giants in the early 20th century. But there was much more to him. At a time when professional athletes made little money (yes, there was such a time) and ball players were considered on the same level as actors, artists, and prostitutes, Mathewson stood out. One of his nicknames was: “The Christian Gentleman.” Most men is baseball drank, smoked, cursed, and fought —with other players, umpires, and fans. The fights were physical, not just verbal. Mathewson did none of these things. But he earned the respect of other players who did them all. Even Ty Cobb and John McGraw. There’s more. He was a college graduate (Bucknell University) when most men were lucky to have a high school diploma. He played other sports, including pro football which you wouldn’t recognize. He was handsome. He played in New York City, then as now, the largest city in the country. Excellence and popularity there meant fame and money. He dressed well. Today, his commercials would rival LeBron’s. And, finally, a hero’s life must have tragedy. After his playing career ended, WWI arrived. He suffered from influenza and was exposed to mustard gas. Chemical warfare. His lungs were damaged and he required treatment for the rest of his life. (Like my Grandfather who also fought in The Great War.) He died in 1925. He was 45 years old. I have his picture here because you need to know more about him than me. He was what an athlete could be. Players like him and their accomplishments got me through a sickly, painful childhood and can still sustain me in difficult times. *****
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