Most Heroes Don’t Know It

Write an essay in which you tell us about someone who has made an impact on your life and explain how and why this person is important to you.

Write an essay in which you tell us about someone who has made an impact on your life and explain how and why this person is important to you.I think it’s safe to say that, though he may not know it, Ian Lokey made me who I am more than any other single person I’ve met. When I entered middle school, I became a part of the youth group at my church. That meant I got to meet all the older high school kids, and that’s where I met Ian. I thought he was a very cool guy—partly because he was four years older than me, of course, but also because he had his act together so well. He was an actor and a musician, which made him a rather outgoing person, and he had very refined and respectable ideas about chivalry and etiquette. All in all, he was a great role model, and throughout middle school I looked up to him more than anyone else in church or out of it.The highlight of every summer at our church was the Youth Camp, and the one during the summer of my freshman year turned out to be nothing short of fantastic. The best part of the week, for me, was when Ian decided to “take me under his wing”, if you will. I’m sure he did so much more out of kindness than he did for the sake of my company (although you’ll never hear him admit that); I was just about to enter high school, after all, and like everyone at that age I was immensely self-conscious and still more than a little out of place in social settings. Ian seemed to think that I had potential and decided I could use a little guidance, I suppose, and so he stuck by my side through much of the week. I could not be more indebted to him, for when I was around him I picked up many, many habits that have each become an integral part of my identity today. First and foremost, I saw Ian as a gentleman. As an actor, he was slightly eccentric, but as a talented actor, that eccentricity translated into a very refined way of carrying himself. In public, he was a perfect gentleman, always addressing others with the utmost respect and recognizing such lost practices as holding doors for others and standing when a woman enters the room. He held himself to his own code of ethics, and even in private he adhered to that unflaggingly. I hold the utmost respect for that, and for his dedication to it, especially because there are so few today that care about social graces as he does. Though I don’t know if I’m yet as refined as he, I constantly strive to be.Also, Ian is an archetypical extrovert. He seems to have no fear. He craves the spotlight, and when he is the center of attention his performances never fall flat- I remember one evening vividly, when everyone at the camp was seeing off all the Seniors who would soon be leaving for college. We were all gathered in the big round meeting room, and each Senior would sit in the middle as the microphone was passed around and others would say their goodbyes and share stories about the person. When Ian’s brother, Grant, got into the middle, Ian made a grab for the mic and stood to give a speech that moved just about everyone in the room to tears. It was touching, but what I remember most about it was that it was masterful. He never faltered, never stuttered, and chose every word meticulously. After hearing him speak so effortlessly that night, I determined that I was going to master myself like that as well. Once again, I’m not yet Ian Lokey, but I’ve come a long way.Ian’s career in the arts (he’s currently ranked one of the top 50 acting students in the country) prompted me to try acting as well, and I even performed in a play my freshman year. I’m no longer in theater, but I still carry a deep-seated love for performance and acting, and my single favorite undertaking in the last four years has been writing, directing, and performing in a movie for my school’s Film Festival. Ian was also a very proficient writer, and a very large portion of my own writing style is an homage to his—a peculiar, conversational style he developed in his online journal.I haven’t seen Ian in a few years, as he lives across the country in Cincinnati. And even now, I’m sure he has no idea how much that one act of kindness four years ago has meant to me, but I would be terribly remiss if I didn’t acknowledge that Ian Lokey has been my key role model throughout my teenage life.

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