We are not who we are until we discover who it was that made us who we are. Then, and only then, can we live into the reality of who we are and where we are going. To deny influences in our lives is just silly. For me, I have a lot of respect for the brilliant. I have a lot of respect for the movers and shakers in our world. These people have helped define our culture and because of my obsession with the impact that culture makes on our lives, I cannot help but be incredibly impressed with them and their work. Many of these below are not "righteous" people and did not stand for a purpose that we consider right. It is impossible however to deny their gifts and talents.
Whether or not I agree with them, these are people who impress me. In no particular order, off the top of my head, and I am sure the list it largely incomplete. I haven't even googled the names, so my apologies for misspellings.
Those that impress me:
Jesus Christ Howard Stern Leo Laporte Steve Wozniak Julia Roberts Bill Gates JS Bach Nolan Ryan Adolf Hitler Eminem Meryl Streep Steve Jobs Rob Bell David Crowder Joe Torre Andy Crouch Keith Olbermann Rush Limbaugh Paul Michael Jordan Louie Giglio Michael Jackson Tim Russert Eugene Peterson Jonny Ive Ellen Degeneres Kobe Bryant Franklin Delano Roosevelt Constantine Moses Chris Tomlin Mark Zuckerberg Larry Page Babe Ruth Asa Candler Mother Teresa Barack Obama Bill O'Reilly George Washington Job Thomas Jefferson Aaron Sorkin Leonardo DaVinci William Shakespeare Darlene Zschech TobyMac Matt Lauer Shane Claiborne John Wesley Warren W. Willis Diane Sawyer Beethoven Kevin James Norman Rockwell Benjamin Franklin Ruth Rick Warren Ray Romano Francis Chan Moses Hogan B.o.B Ricky Gervais Anne Frank Bruno Mars Michael W. Smith Billy Graham Ted Williams Steven Curtis Chapman Joel Houston George W. Bush Dan Marino Henry Ford Thomas Edison Dan Brown JK Rowling Stephanie Meyers Taylor Swift Kanye West Mark Driscoll John Gruber Charles Wesley Albert Einstein King Tut Peyton Manning Napoleon George Lucas Tom Hanks Ann Curry Jack Mason Peter Sean Parker Sergei Brin Jackie Robinson Martin Luther Martin Luther King Jr. JFK Abraham Lincoln My family