I'm not exactly sure if this post has a "point," or any particularly good reason for you to read it, but it's important to me and important to anyone who wants to follow my about-to-be-super-famous career.
When I was in middle school, my grandmother (on my father's side) gave me the first Harry Potter book as a birthday present. My father was born and raised in North Conway, New Hampshire, where the Lucy family still reigns supreme, so I did not see her very often; and I've always been quite shy, even around my family, so I never really knew her well at all. At the time the Harry Potter book seemed to be the worst present ever: clearly, I thought, she didn't know me well at all, either--I hated reading! And the cover, never mind the title--Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone, ha!--made the book seem far more silly than I already thought all books were. I forget who exactly induced me to read the friggin book. Might have been my own tortured soul. All I know is that some vague fear that my grandmother might ask me about it was the only reason I picked it up. I figured that my grandmother wouldn't have read such a silly book, but I couldn't take that chance.
Almost as soon as I grudgingly began reading I was hooked. Well, honestly, I probably wasn't hooked, per se, until after the second book, but I at least now thought that reading the second book wouldn't be such a terrible thing.
I read those first two books rather slowly but rapturously. Once I was done with the second Harry Potter book I decided that Hermione was my favorite character (which is more true now that she was played by Emma Watson, ooo la la) and Ravenclaw was the house I'd want to be in if I were a young student-wizard. Once I was done with the second Harry Potter book, my reading list expanded, and I began reading more quickly. The fifth, sixth, and seventh books were all read in a day; and I started reading Terry Pratchett because the fantasy world of Discworld seemed similar enough to Hogwarts to interest me, then I was reading a bunch of comic fantasy, then I was reading Hawthorne and loving him because of all the fantastic stuff in his writing, and then I was off and running. Since then my reading has been hopelessly expansive.
That I am now a writer, or trying to be one, must be traced through my reading back to Harry Potter. Only by reading voluminously did I think that writing is something I'd like to do and learn how to do so. Indeed, my world became so defined by what I read that I couldn't imagine doing anything but writing so that others may read too. What a trip, eh? From Harry Potter to determined writer.
I guess what I want to say here is that all people should think well on how they lift up, encourage, raise, and interact with others, especially the younger folk, and live accordingly. After my grandmother's passing I learned a lot about her that I didn't know before, which wasn't hard considering how little I knew of her to begin with, mainly how devoted she was to teaching and inspiring others to use their minds and imaginations. For the past few years I've also been raiding her great library. Her spirit lives on in motivating me to write. Her life lives on in motivating me to write. If it weren't for her, I'd have graduated with a bachelor's in mathematics and still be crunching numbers. I'm great at math, but boy do I hate it. If it weren't for my grandmother, who seemed to not care that reading didn't interest me, I'd be miserably living a life that quite simply does not suit me.
Whatever greatness I may achieve through my writing must be attributed only partly to my own mind and writing skills and mostly to my grandmother. Indeed, any great person lives in the wake of someone who cared enough to pave a way for them. Thus, you, my reader, should take care which paths you are paving for others to follow.