Who is the person who had the most effect or influence on you growing up?
Adults in general had a big impact on me growing up. I assessed teachers, doctors, relatives, rabbis, shop clerks, even politicians. It was apparent to me that people had all sorts of personalities and expressed themselves differently, and inconsistently, all the time. At 4 years old, a guy in a supermarket told me to stop rearranging the yogurts in the refrigerator case. I was trying to make the labels face up, all in one direction, because I thought that would be helpful. He told me to stop in a "nice" way, but it was clearly angry and weird. I became very focused on trying to figure out why the grownups were "saying" one thing with their words while what they actually meant was something very different. At around age 6 or 7, my mother sent me in to get a pound of cookies at a bakery. I watched the scale as the lady weighed them, took my money, and gave me back some change, with a big smile and a "thank you." I counted it carefully as I had been taught to do and said, "Hey, I think you short-cookied me." At 10 years old, I watched the Watergate hearings. It made me realize that things are not usually what they appear to be and that, inexplicably, people lie. That was heavy.
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