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Perhaps the most influential person in my life, excepting my parents, is the
author Terry Pratchett. His books tend to focus on comedy and
entertainment, but a good number of the characters represent or at least
present ideals which I have come to embrace. As I’ve read his books
over the years I’ve gradually changed who I was into what I personally
feel is a better person. Samuel Vimes and Granny Weatherwax have taught
me the importance of self control and discipline (something I still
struggle with, but at least I make the effort) at all costs. If you cede
control to your emotions life becomes much much more challenging. I’ve
learned to avoid being ruled by my emotions, and to try to apply thought
to all situations. Captain Carrot has taught me the import of taking an
interest and treating people kindly regardless of how they treat me or
other people, and how natural goodwill doesn’t have to translate into
emotional weakness (just because you’re willing to make many minor
concessions doesn’t mean that you can’t make a stand on things that are
important to you, and the less often you challenge other people the more
seriously your challenge is taken.) I realized the importance of being
pleasant, that most people are willing to reciprocate to friendliness,
and that it’s much much easier to be on good terms with most people than
I used to think. A lot of people I considered dire enemies changed
their attitudes towards me impressively quickly when I approached them
courteously. I learned that you should treat people based on their
current emotional state, not yours. I also learned gradually through
this process how much easier it is to be happy around people that are
happy. Being a moral person for the sake of morality is all very fine
and well, and very satisfying, but it helps that I can find reasons
involving selfish self-interest. It makes complete sense to try to keep
those around you happy, because then happiness is much easier to
achieve. I feel like I’ve learned from these characters the importance
of emotional maturity which I now value above intellectual and
behavioral maturity, and they’ve given me some examples of how to BE
emotionally mature. I’ve learned specific behaviors from them, but more
importantly I’ve gained a desire for improvement, and the ability to
admit to my many flaws.

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Even though I've never heard of Terry Pratchett he really sounds like a good author. I like how you gave an example of what his characters have taught you, that's pretty cool. I actually have a character from one the books I read who taught me something. It really made me think of how to approach someone at the appropriate time which is a good thing to do. You made good points, but you could have an example of how the author and not his characters affected you.

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