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Adapted from, based on and inspired by…..

I’m a very lucky man. As I approach middle age, I have come to know and appreciate the incredible blessings and privileges I have. I was born into a warm and wonderful family: my parents and grandparents, my brother and sisters, my aunts, uncles and cousins, my extended family. I spent time at some fabulous educational institutions (Miss P.Hartley’s, St Xavier’s Collegiate School, St Xavier’s College). I’ve worked for some fantastic companies, and I’m now in my dream job, at Salesforce.com. I’m part of a lively and courageous church, Kings Church International. And all through those years, I’ve had the joy of making many fast friends, great friends, rare friends.

I’m a very lucky man. My wife of 28 years, an incredible woman, has put up with me and stayed with me through thick and thin, and has brought up three warm and beautiful children, occasionally with my help, often without, sometimes despite. I don’t know what I’d do without them.

I’m nearly 55. There have been a few glitches along the way: I was picked up at Red Square without a visa in 1982, and faced the consequences; I was beaten and kicked into a coma when I was 25, by a large bunch of skinheads; drowned in Greece a few years later, only to be rescued by passing fishermen as I floated serenely; was paralysed briefly in 1999 after an accident; turned white briefly in 2004, as I passed kidney stones the hard way; went very briefly into ventricular fibrillation in 2006, became bionic; and a few months ago, was found to have a walnut-sized growth in my colon, which has since parted company with me, to mutual satisfaction.

A few glitches along the way.

Yes, I’m a very lucky man. I know something about God’s grace in my life, and I’m grateful. I know a lot about the warmth and support of my family and friends, and I’m grateful. Incredibly grateful.

Besides my family and my friends and my teachers, there have been a number of people, places and things that have influenced me heavily. They number in their hundreds, if not in their thousands. Authors, playwrights and poets; cartoonists, illustrators and artists; singers and songwriters and musicians; comedians; thinkers and doers. Foods. Poems. Books. Films.

They’ve all bent me, shaped me, helped make me what I am.

I can’t share all of them: life doesn’t work that way. I can’t digitise and scale out my family or my friends: for one thing, not all of them are alive. Besides, it isn’t possible for me to replicate them, to clone them, to share them with you. [Yes, I realise I can share my memories, my learnings, my recordable past with you, but somehow I'm not ready for that right now. Maybe another time. Anyway, you get glimpses of those through this blog].

Some of the influences are shareable. Some of them have written things, performed things, participated in things, things that have been published at least in analog form, often in digital form. Influences that you can read, listen to, watch. Some influences that can even be eaten.

Influences that made me me, alongside my family and friends and education and experience.

Influences that I’d like to acknowledge publicly, because at least in some part the things I think about and share are adapted from, based on and inspired by the people on the list below. It’s not an exhaustive list — my intention is to publish them in what I expect are three sections, so here are the first 171.

I hope you find the list useful, I guess it’s a variant of what used to be called a blogroll.

 

It’s not an exhaustive list. And as I said it will be added to over time. I hope you enjoy finding out why every one of the 171 are on my list of influences. Let me know what you think.

Posted in Four pillars .


16 Responses

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  1. Dennis says

    Only a couple of years younger, so many of those icons on my list too… good work.

  2. Cara says

    I may not be on your list but I am proud to be your friend

  3. Annalie Killian says

    Hoping you received my invitation to Amplify Festival in Sydney 3-7 June!

  4. Mjdaleycpa says

    My dearest wife Eunmi has reframed any reference to lucky as gratitude for divine blessing. So be it.

  5. AnaDataGirl says

    What a beautiful post JP! You’ve had quite a life journey indeed.

  6. Simon Griffiths says

    You’re also lucky to be 55 and consider yourself to only be ‘approaching’ middle age
    (From a 56 year old)

  7. clive boulton says

    A formidable list of influences. I must say I have gained quite some insight into a few on this list by reading ‘Confused of Calcutta’ blog posts, which often reference influencers. Credit the adage – not what you know, but who you know (or my case, who you read, who knows).

    Do you have another list, influencers in the field of IT, but aren’t widely known. Like, Daphne Koller, Peter Norvig, Andrew Ng, Sebastian Thrun, and SFDC’s own Yukihiro “Matz” Matsumoto?

  8. Chris Heinz says

    I like your list. I’ve always avoided doing lists. Seems too arbitrary maybe? Or they would have to be too encyclopedic?
    I enjoy your blog, sorry to hear you are a theist. A mind is a terrible thing to waste, it’s never to late to add your religion to the list of other fairy tales you have enjoyed in your life.

  9. JP says

    Chris, yes my list has many fairy tales. And yes, you’re not the first person to be surprised at my faith, or at my having a faith. It’s something I think about a lot, something I wrestle with. I think doubt is good. It refines and strengthens me. As does faith.
    Hope you enjoy the rest of my list. I’m aiming for 500, in 3 instalments.

  10. JP says

    Clive, I haven’t tended to run a “less widely known” list. It may be something I do later. Right now all I’m trying to do is to capture my key influences independent of whether they’re well known or not.

  11. JP says

    Simon, I think I will be approaching middle age for some more time. When my eldest got engaged, I saw it as a sign of approaching middle age. When I escort her down the aisle at her wedding, I will consider middle age to be imminent. And when I dandle my first grandchild on my knee, I will have become middle-aged. Still time yet :-)

  12. JP says

    Thank you Ana. It’s been an incredible journey. With a great deal of help from a great many people.

  13. JP says

    I have a lot of sympathy for Eunmi’s view….

  14. JP says

    Looking forward to being there, Annalie!

  15. JP says

    Thank you for saying that, and thank you for being my friend

  16. JP says

    Thanks Dennis. Sometimes the two-year time delta is explained by my formative years being in India. Western things tended to lag a bit in getting there, caused by exchange control and paucity of hard currency.



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