Who’s in Your Circle of 5?

Motivational speaker and author Jim Rohn said “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Your income, weight, habits and even marital satisfaction is tied to some degree to the significant people in your life. Think for a minute about who influences you. Are your good friends, co-workers and family members good for you? How are you being affected by these people?

If last night is an indication of my circle of five, I’m fortunate. I participated in the Galena Halloween Parade. I volunteered through the Rotary Club, of which I am a member. Our foreign exchange student, Alpo Kuvaja, waved his country’s Finnish flag while sitting in a 1966 Wildcat convertible owned by Don Fouts. John Cooke rode shotgun representing a World War II veteran. Helen Kilgore performed crowd control. Rita Matonis and I passed out candy as we flanked the car.

Alpo Kuvaja represents adventure. It takes bravery to leave your family, friends and country for a year abroad. But the payoff is tremendous. Travel widens your world-view in a way that is not possible without having visited other places and cultures.

Don Fouts represents dedication to a hobby. He is a car enthusiast and owns a dozen BMWs in addition to his Buick Wildcat. If his Wildcat is an indication of his BMWs, they are all immaculately maintained.

John Cooke represents philanthropy. After serving in WWII, John worked for 28 years as a Senior Vice President of McDonald’s Corporation. Although he is officially retired, he works tirelessly for the benefit of others. He and his wife have made generous financial contributions to countless community projects.

Helen Kilgore represents volunteerism. It is said that if you want something done, give the task to a busy person. Helen is that person. She is a former mayor of Elizabeth, IL, served as an Emergency Medical Technician for years and also in several roles as a Rotary Club member. She also works for Jo-Carroll Energy installing medical monitoring phones to ensure that someone living alone has quick access to care if in an emergency.

Rita Matonis, my sister-in-law, represents family. Family members may cause us to laugh, cry and tear out our hair. But at the end of the day, these are the people who’ve known us, and in most cases, loved us over the length of our lives. Family is an exchange of love.

I’m proud to have these people in my circle of five. I value the qualities they embody and hope they influence me to be a better person.

What is important to you and who’s in your circle of five?

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