Learning Openness

Indicate a person who has had a significant influence on you, and describe that influence.


The air was humid and the room was wild with the excitement of children on summer vacation. There were board games, drawings, Lego creations, and a radio with the local station on. I was seated at the table with my head resting on my arm and a game of solitaire dealt out before me. I had never played it before, so I just moved the cards around and glanced up every once in a while to see the work of my artistically inclined peers.

Abruptly, my chair was yanked away from the table and I was spinning. Cards fell onto the floor and I gasped before coming to a complete stop in front of one of the daycare counselors, Betty. I was only eight years old at the time, so she towered above me. My blood ran cold as I waited for her to say something. She looked at me inquisitively.

“There are twenty-five other kids here, why don’t you find some to play with?” she asked.

I shrugged and stared blankly at her, hoping she would release me to my card game. As with every figure of authority I encountered, I wanted as little contact as possible. I had the same preference with other people as well, although I was much less averse to talking to them if necessary. Betty, I believe, sensed that I was apprehensive around others.

“Openness is important in...

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