Seattle Designer

Seattle Designer [Terri Nakamura]

i'm a graphic designer who loves words. - terri nakamura

"Graphic Design"

"Social Media"

"Digital Media"

Who Do You Admire?


"Verizon Lifestyle Blogger"

Fast Company Magazine Cover

Jack Dorsey on the cover of
- Fast Company -

Our new hero-archetype?

When I was a kid, it was pretty easy to identify heroes. They were policemen and firemen, soldiers and astronauts. They were President John F. Kennedy, Miss America, doctors, teachers and others who showed courage or strength. They were people who were, in some way, extraordinary.

Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter and founder of Square, is on the March 2012 cover of Fast Company, and seeing him made me wonder — who do people admire today and why? Are entrepreneurs the new heroes?

The fortunes made by innovators today might make a 20-something MBA's heart beat a bit faster because they have realized the American dream — using brains and hard work to achieve success and enormous wealth.

But is the ability to turn ideas into money what we should admire or strive to emulate?

Having aspirational goals propel us to achieve. And the ability to innovate, and at times create a need for things we didn't know we needed, fuels the economy through the creation of jobs and the manufacturing of goods as well as their transportation and distribution.

In other words, innovators make it possible for many people to live and thrive, and we all benefit in some way. But inventing the iPhone, Facebook, Google or Twitter isn't a realistic goal for most of us.

Rich Horsfall

My father-in-law, Rich

My father-in-law, Rich, was a real hero to me. An ordinary guy with lots of heart, he was a WWII veteran who worked 30 years for Boeing, selling airplanes to Lufthansa, El Al and other airlines around the world.

Shortly before he retired from his very successful career, I remember him telling me it was good he was getting out before anyone "found him out." At the time I marveled that someone who was so good at what he did, was so self-effacing, but it spoke to his character. He was modest, not boastful. He was confident, but not full of himself. He didn't need to throw others into the shadows on his way up the corporate ladder.

By today's standards I wouldn't describe him as rich except by name. He made a very good living and provided well for his wife and 4 children. He lived by example. He was kind. He was generous. And he had a way of making every person he met feel very special.

But today I feel as though many of the qualities and values he embodied, which made him a giant in my estimation, seem low on the list of things people aim to achieve. Because today it feels like it's not enough to simply strive to be a good person.

Who are the roles models of today? I would love to know who inspires you.

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Blogger Louis said...

I admire the President(USA), astronauts and Miss Universe 2011 not so much for their titles but as individuals.

I don't prize manual labor and blind obedience as my parents and grandparents did. These are still useful skills for emergency situations; but education and cooperation with peers are much more important today.

I've never trusted the US (or most other) police or military forces. They have too little respect for the rights of civilians. I blame government and the military system for that. They are class based societies. Everyone has a rank in a hierarchy, and civilians are a the bottom.

There are no absolute rights and wrongs or virtues and vices. What was appropriate for 100, 1,000, or 10,000 years ago isn't necessarily the best behavior for todays societies. What works in a socialist country may not work in a theocracy, or in the free-for-all place America is becoming.

Each society sets it's standards; and in present day America it's the traits that allow for financial independence that are prized. So today it's doctors, lawyers, entertainer including sports figures that get the fame.

For farmers, pioneers, explorers, missionaries, refugees,slaves, etc , living in a feudal system, there are often different ideals. American society (or at least the most successful parts) has different ideals from what it had in the past.

10:19 PM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Thanks so much, Louis. It's nice to think there are role models who offer us a reason to admire them beyond their abilities to make money.

I am not pining to go back 30 or more years. I LIKE living in this time and space. But I watch younger people who eschew altruistic callings because they aren't remunerative enough to create the kind of lifestyle others might envy. I hope honesty and goodness can be an important part of being successful, regardless of how one contributes to society.

And going back to Jack Dorsey— we have him to thank, in part, for making it possible for you and I to be acquainted!

Many thanks again, Terri

11:15 PM  
Blogger Wayne Hurlbert said...

I admire Albert Schweitzer, Martin Luther King, Jr, Ghandi, and John Lennon. They spoke of peace and love for all humanity, and acted on those values and beliefs. They made a difference.

11:32 PM  
Anonymous Lori Moreno said...

I admire "Leaders" in any industry, who are willing to lead with integrity.

11:33 PM  
Blogger Azzurro di Portierecalcio said...

I admire every people who started from zero and become rich without help.

Now my favourite is still Mark Zuckerberg

11:37 PM  
Blogger Andreas Wiedow said...

Not many spring to my mind serving as living role models. I remember Sir Peter Ustinov being one for me.

Maybe Nelson Mandela. But more the mostly unknown who stand up during the Presidential elections in Russia right now or those who stood up getting the Bürgermeister (Mayor) from Duisburg deselected.

Yes and then there's been my father.

11:39 PM  
Blogger osakasaul said...

You inspire the hell out of me, Terri. You know so many people, make time for those who probably aren't the most deserving, and its just incredible. (I understand you work, too, haha. Oh, and the husband and kids...)

But let me throw in a whole group of people: web app bootstrappers, as inspirational. At age 45, I am reinventing myself (yet again), and learning from 20 and 30-somethings who are not taking their idea and shopping it to angels or VC groups who will contract away their rights to control the destiny of their brainchilds, but are just "doing it." This is what I am doing as well.

11:42 PM  
Blogger Emmanuel Gonot said...

Thanks Terri for this insightful post. I admire Steve Jobs for his drive towards excellence, Ghandi and MLK for their commitment to non-violent change, Gates and Buffett for their generosity, sense of fairness, and their commitment to better the lives of the less fortunate, Stephen Covey for helping me clarify my values and identify the things that truly matter, Pres. Corazon Aquino for her humility, Pres. Obama for the his steadfastness of purpose in the face of great adversity.

11:46 PM  
Blogger John Rodrigues said...

New writers for finding a voice and experienced ones for showing the way.

11:59 PM  
Anonymous @ellies58 said...

I admire anyone who has the guts to be Themself!! And Any person in this day and age, that refuses to cave to apathy; but instead rises up to the challenge of making positive changes. People who aren't afraid to take a chance, and extend their hand! You don't have to be a person of Great Notoriety, for Me to admire You! You just have to be a "GOOD" person!

12:00 AM  
Anonymous Dwayne Kilbourne said...

Hmmm... I admire a lot of people. When it comes to the world of technology, you have to give it up to these start-up peeps like Dennis Crowley (foursquare) and Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook)!!

12:03 AM  
Anonymous Steven Gardner said...

I admire leaders, people who take risks to move ahead rather than wait for others to do it.

These are the people who advance us.

12:08 AM  
Blogger steveandsusie said...

I admire anyone willing to be themselves and not try to change to fit the group they are with, regardless of the consequences. Sometimes it can be hard to not blend into the crowd.

12:09 AM  
Blogger Ryan J. Zeigler said...

This is a tough one and I want to give a thoughtful response. I bookmarked and will comment in the morning =)

12:11 AM  
Blogger Turtle Finance said...

I admire ordinary 'no-name' guy. Many of the famous people was decorated over and over again, to the point that mystifies them. On the other hand, I could sit down with an ordinary guy at Sunday afternoon, and listen to their stories. It's real, it's life.

12:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I admire people willing to improve.

12:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I admire my mom for growing up all alone and gave everything so her children will grow as they did.
Bless you, Mom!

12:27 AM  
Blogger Arcuza said...

I admire anyone willing to be themselves and not try to change to fit the group they are with, regardless of the consequences.
Thats real and not some fake shit.

12:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I admire people who are leaders; the type of people who think differently, people who are willing to take risk, but also I admire people who are honest and trustworthy.

12:30 AM  
Anonymous Leia D. said...

You have one amazing father in law there Teri. Thanks for asking but wow, that's a tough one since I have a lot on my mind. There's a lot of people I admire in the fields of technology, financial literacy, the arts, leadership, charitable work etc. Right now I can only think of Esther and Jerry Hicks on their wonderful work of letting the world know about Abraham's teachings.

12:32 AM  
Anonymous Greg Bepper said...

Volunteers. Ordinary people that give back without seeking any reward or personal recognition. They just go about their business doing what they do from the heart, for years even decades. God bless you all. The world as we know it would collapse without you.

12:39 AM  
Anonymous Don Dobbie said...

12:39 AM  
Blogger Tom said...

Inspirational people come in many forms in may fields but always it is those who are true to themselves that provide the greatest inspiration.

12:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One wonderful person you have in your father-in-law. I admire a lot of people in life - Steve Jobs, Sam Manekshaw who is the real Father of my country India, Lal Bahadur Shastri another founding father of India, APJ Abdul Kalam - Former President of India, scientist, professor and poet to name a few.

12:41 AM  
Blogger Debby Bruck said...

Hi Terri ~ Truly enjoyed reading this piece and affirms what I have been saying to myself about all the time spent on the internet.

I consider it a success simply if I have touched peoples' lives, awakened them to new possibilities, provided information to become self empowered so they can fulfill their mission in the world.

Being the best at what you do, using your God given talents and raising a loving family fits the bill for hero status. Blessings, Debby

12:49 AM  
Blogger DES Daughter said...

Hi Terri :) Right now Susan Helmrich, an AMAZING woman who has battled and beaten three very serious cancers with her positive attitude and passion for swimming ... People can watch the video "Beating Cancer One Lap at a Time" about her story on . with kind regards

12:59 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Wayne, Thanks for your comment. Those all are great "big-picture" people who had a profound effect on human kind.

Best regards, Terri

1:24 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Me, too, Lori. Thanks and ((HUGS)))


1:25 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Azzurro, I don't know about Mark Zuckerberg's personal background. Since he was a student at Harvard, I just assumed he came from a privileged background. If he came from modest means, then I see what you mean—which is that getting rich seems to be something that many people admire.

Thanks for your comment!

1:27 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Andreas, thank you for commenting. I love the notion that your father is there alongside Sir Peter Ustinov and Nelson Mandela. That says a lot about him. You were fortunate to have a father who left you with those feelings.

Best regards,


1:30 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Dear Saul,

First of all, I know you're a seriously busy person, so I truly appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment.

Sometimes experience is a "stopper,"especially when someone has encountered obstacles, because it can make a person reluctant about trying new things.

Youth isn't burdened by the fear of making mistakes. I think that is why impossible ideas naturally germinate in young brains. No one has shown something "cannot" be done—so they just go for it!

Best of luck in your current endeavors, and thanks again for your comment.


1:44 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Wow, Emmanuel.

Thank you for this great response. I think you named some really inspiring people.

It's interesting to include Gates and Buffet. When you consider what they are doing with their vast fortunes, it illustrates how it can be a lofty goal to make a lot of money — it creates the possibility of giving it away to accomplish things to benefit humanity.

I'm grateful to get to know you a bit through your comment and look forward to crossing paths again.

Best regards,


1:50 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

John, thank you for your response!

Best regards, Terri

1:51 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Dear Ellie,

You and I are like sisters from another mother. We both agree honesty and trust are essential!

And I agree—people don't have to be famous to be admired—they just need to be GOOD people!

It means a lot to have your comment here. Thank you for taking the time to contribute!



1:54 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Dwayne, I know what you mean—these guys have done great things. But the bigger question for me is, is there more reason to admire people for more than the fact that they create technologies and make a lot of money? I mean, I would love to hear Mark Zuckerberg is a kind, honest and generous person IN ADDITION to being the brilliance behind Facebook :)

Thanks so much for your comment,


1:57 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Steven, Thanks for taking the time to comment. I agree—many people are too happy to sit back and watch.

Best regards,


1:58 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Steve and Susie,

It takes guts to do that! I would venture to guess most people who have gone through a job interview have channeled whatever they think the interviewer is looking for—when in reality, by being themselves, it might make them stand out in a good way.

Interesting response. Thanks for the comment!


2:01 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Thanks, Ryan. No rush—I'll be interested to see what you have to say.

<3 Terri

2:02 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Nic, I totally know what you mean! I have often told my kids, every person has a story. Most of us are too busy going about our lives, jobs, and checking things off our "to-do" list to stop and take a moment to get to know what those stories are. There is a lot of magic out there that we completely miss.

Thanks for taking the time to comment. I really appreciate it!

Best regards, Terri

2:05 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Thanks for the comment :-) Striving to improve is an admirable quality, for sure!

Best regards, Terri

2:06 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Bless your mom, for sure. The fact that you see all she did for you and appreciate it means she did a great job raising you.

Wonderful answer. Thank you for sharing!

Best regards, Terri

2:07 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Arcuza, I'm curious—is there anyone specific?

Thanks for taking the time to comment!

Best regards, Terri

2:09 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

I admire the same kinds of people. Thanks for sharing!

Best regards, Terri

2:09 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Leia, yes—I was really fortunate to have such a fantastic father-in-law. I miss him very much as he was lost to Parkinson's disease 9 years ago :-(

I don't know very much about Esther and Jerry Hicks though I have heard of their work. But the fact that you admire them makes me want to find out more about them.

Thank you for your comments. I'm looking forward to learning from them!

Best regards, Terri

2:13 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Greg, I totally agree with you. They are the unspoken heroes who accomplish so many things through selfless gifts of time, energy and often, money.

Thanks so much for the comments.

Best regards, Terri

2:15 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Thanks, Don, for the link.


2:15 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Thank you, Tom, for the comment. The only thing I might add is, sometimes really greedy, dishonest people are being true to who they are...

But when they direct their energies positively, they are indeed, inspiring.

Best regards,


2:17 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Thank you for commenting. You have named a few people I don't know, so it's really wonderful to have you tell me they inspire you. It makes me want to find out who they are, and I will!

Best regards,


2:19 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Dear Debby,

I really sensed the person behind the moniker when you and I started exchanging a few DMs last year. From there, I found you to be an intelligent and sentient person who cares about many things that affect the world at large, and eager to educate others.

Thank you for not only reading, but commenting here. And thank you for making the effort to grow our friendship. It means a lot.

Warm regards, Terri

2:23 AM  
Anonymous tincanman2010 said...

I follow music and am amazed by how hard so many musicians work. Touring is a grind, yet there they are out on the road almost continuously bringing their music to their fans.

I'm not talking about the mega superstars who travel first class, but the next couple of levels down who don't.

I recently interviewed Joe Pug in a tiny club in England and watched him spend over an hour mingling even though by then he was hot and sweaty and thirsty. And this is a guy being hailed - rightly, in my opinion - as a young Dylan, which is why I chose him as an example.

There's many of them out there; not starving artists who have to gladhand, but true artists who could milk their gift for more but choose not to.

2:25 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Dominique, thank you for telling me about Susan Helmrich. I'm looking forward to learning about her.

And speaking of inspiring, I think what you are doing to raise awareness of Diethylstilbestrol is amazing and every day I am in awe.

Thank you for your comment, and one last thing—I'm very grateful to have crossed your path here in the social media galaxy.

Best regards, Terri

2:27 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Tina, thank you for this great story. This is an example of a normal person — well, a GIFTED normal person — who believes in what they do and sacrifices to share their gifts with others.

A friend was in a band called The Kingsmen, which was before my time, but I knew their big hit, "Louie Louie." When I read about their life on the road, it wasn't all partying and carrying on — it was, as you said, a grind.

Having that kind of love for your work comes through in what you do. It's the best kind of happiness and definitely worthy of admiration.

Thanks again for your comment!


2:36 AM  
Blogger Gordon said...

It's an interesting question to ask, and I have to say, I don't think I can answer that easily... I honestly cannot think of anyone I really admire at all, so I am unsure what that says about me, apart from being brutally honest about it!

When I talk of the word admire, I mean that word should bring me passion, excitement, stimulus of some kind that differs from my day to day ways... and the only person who briefly made any sort of dent in me was "Steve Jobs", even though as I read the story of his life, I become more distant towards the person than I previously felt.

Maybe your next question should be, "How can we bring the spark of creativity, enthusiasm, feeling better about everything back into our lives?" That would really be interesting to see what responses came back!

Also, what a nice change to see people responding to your question in a nice way, and (touch wood) no idiots bringing it all down.

Nice one!

4:10 AM  
Blogger Paul Ewing said...

I admire people like your father: "modest, not boastful," "confident, but not full of himself." He didn't need to throw people under the bus to advance his career. To me the term "rich" is not at all about money. To be "rich" is to enjoy life to the fullest, to be able to appreciate: loved ones and friends, art museums, concerts, good books, and great ideas. If all of us would "live by example" as your father did, the world would improve overnight! To be "kind, generous" and make "every person he met feel very special"--what could possibly be more important. Nothing, as far as I'm concerned.

6:23 AM  
Blogger James Monjack said...

Hi Terri,

I don't know about in the US but here in the UK I fear the "younger" generations feel that unless they aspire to get financially rich then they are doomed to a pretty tough existence. In your father-in-law's day 'most' people could enjoy many of the comforts of life on an average income. It seems in these times an average income equals a life of financial struggle so I can understand the drive to get rich.


7:24 AM  
Anonymous Karen Marie Shelton said...

Hi Terri,

This is an amazing topic from an amazing woman.

The person who inspires me the most is my 90 year old mother-in-law.

When my beloved husband of close to 25 years died suddenly and tragically of a massive coronary, his mother's first concern was not for her immense loss of her last remaining child, but for her daughter-in-law.

My mother-in-law who had already lost her other younger son and her beloved husband, immediately rallied around me to help me get through the tragedy. She called me every hour on the hour for days on end to make sure I was doing okay and to offer any support I needed.

Although my husband's death happened 7 years ago, my beloved mother-in-law and I still talk every single Sunday for anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. She is my biggest champion and the mother I never had.

Even though my mother-in-law is 90 and has suffered through major health problems including a battle with breast and skin cancer, she never complains. She loves life and gives back 1000%.

I could write a book about this great lady, but will finish by saying her example of how to live an amazing life and survive tragedy with grace has been my own inspiration to strive to be a better person every day.


7:52 AM  
Blogger lacouvee said...

Thanks for the thought provoking question Terri:

I admire (as many have said) people who are willing to be themselves and shine with their unique personality in this world that increasingly values "celebrity".

I admire my mom, my best friend's mom, and my neighbour - all women in their 80s who, even today, continue to give back SO much to the community. It represents decades of sacrifice, commitment and hard work to build community and relationships. To make the world a better place. They are the true unsung heroes in my estimation. I aspire to be like them.

9:15 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Hi, Gordon and thanks for the response.

I must confess, when I first began thinking about this question I had a tough time. Steve Jobs most certainly would've been on my list because of the impact of his work has changed the world forever, in a good way, I think.

The question, " "How can we bring the spark of creativity, enthusiasm, feeling better about everything back into our lives?" will have to wait for another day. Maybe you could write about it and get the conversation started?

And yes—I'm grateful there weren't any real screwball answers this time. :-)

Best regards, Terri

11:21 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Paul, thank you so much for commenting. I think we both acknowledge how much better the world would be if more people lived their lives as my father-in-law did.

Wishing you a great week, and looking forward to crossing paths again,


11:23 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...


Thanks for the response.

I hope I didn't give them impression that I am against achieving success and wealth. Quite the contrary!

But I sometimes think the focus has shifted there to the point where the goodness of people recedes into the background, and their accomplishments and wealth land in the spotlight.

Thanks again for your comment,


11:27 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Wow, Karen. Your wonderful story brought a tear to my eye.

You are so very lucky to have such a wonderful person in your life, and I suspect she is equally lucky that you are her daughter-in-law.

The fact that she inspires you to strive to be a better person means she has gifted the world with more than her presence, because you are a living legacy to her example.

Thank you very much for sharing.

Warm regards,


11:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

great question Terri

There are many, not so much today, but I admire both Martin Luther King jnr and José Protacio Rizal Mercado y Alonso Realonda, hero to the Philippines.
In the past, Paul from the bible, suffered so much,5 times he received 40 strokes less one,(40 was supposed to be fatal,so they always stopped at 39)three times beaten with rods, once stoned, three times shipwrecked,just a few of the things he suffered externally, there was so much mental anquish too. He said he was weak, but got his strength from another source.God
Then there was the greatest man who ever lived, Jesus
This comes from a guy who was given three years to live in 2000, has had 5 operations for cancer, still works full time,has his own business and runs a small charity.
The people I admire most are those that reach out to others with agape love, do not seek any reward, do not brag about it,people who have a capacity to build others up, not knock them down
To remember that happiness is more important than wealth,and love more important than power

12:31 PM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Thank you for your response, and wow—what an amazing and inspiring story you are living!

I love where you wrote: "The people I admire most are those that reach out to others with agape love, do not seek any reward, do not brag about it,people who have a capacity to build others up, not knock them down
To remember that happiness is more important than wealth,and love more important than power," as these are things I, too, value.

Wishing you well in all you do, and thank you again for your meaningful comments.

Best regards, Terri

1:06 PM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Dear Janis,

Your mom, your best friend's mom and neighbor embody the qualities we all should value. Maybe because they grew up in a different time, their service beyond themselves felt more like a natural extension of their lives. There are so many things competing for our time now, but giving to others is a worthwhile endeavor that I hope will someday again flourish.

Thank you so much for your comment,


1:13 PM  
Blogger Tony Bennett said...

Almost as good as your post is all these wonderful responses from your readers. I was on you FB page and just took a 20 detour because reading through these comments took longer than I expected.

I admire people like you, Terri. The ones who overcomes their own personal battles to inspire others to be better. Thanks For this T!

7:38 PM  
Blogger TucsonKent said...

An interesting mission to explore one's soul, Terri!

The people I admire most are those who have the courage to give their all to achieving a goal for the benefit of others. Dick Hoyt, who persevered against obstacle after obstacle to run in marathons - pushing his son who is wheelchair-bound due to cerebral palsy. He provided inspiration for tens of thousands to share his spirit with their own disabled children & take triumph in being a team just for the pleasure of it.

Another person I admire is Jeannette Mare - a local Tucson mother who turned the tragedy of her toddler son's sudden death into an organization known worldwide as Ben's Bells. Through this organization, she has provided kindness and comfort - inspiring a city to remember to be kind to one another after another tragedy (the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords).

I admire the immigrant who owns the Sonoran Hot Dog cart across from my office. He sacrificed, scrimped & saved to own his own business so that his children could have a better life and learn the lesson that honest, hard work coupled with a dream can change your station in life.

These are but a few examples, but there are plenty of people we all can admire if we bother to open our eyes to what is truly important!

9:36 PM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Kent, hello and thanks for the response.

It has been inspiring to learn of so many great people, like Dick Hoyt, Jeanette Mare, and yes—the owner of the Sonoran Hot Dog cart across from you office.

My grandparents were first-generation Japanese Americans immigrants when they came to the United states in the early 1900s, and I know how they struggled to create a good life for their family. I suspect the guy near your office is enduring similar challenges in his quest to succeed.

It's been wonderful to learn there are many people out there who exemplify the best of human qualities, and I thank you again for sharing such wonderful examples.

Best regards, Terri

10:35 PM  
Anonymous Daemon Blak of DARK BLU said...

When I was young I admired Guitarists who's ability to make music, fascinated me. Jimmy Hendrix. Randy Rhoads. Edward Van Halen. Dave Murray and Adrian Smith. Kirk Hammett. George Lynch. All of these guitarists (and others) influenced me and contributed to who I am as a guitarist now. But unlike today's youth who simply copies their heroes and loses their own identity, what I learned from these guitarists helped me seek and find myself and create a style of my own that cannot be confused with them, when you hear my songs.

5:23 AM  
Blogger Lupo Gialloblu' said...

I admire Dalai Lama 'cause I think He's near, very near to the True and because He has found the way to walk on the road to go to the secret of Truth..

10:00 AM  
Blogger meduffie said...

I would say I admire Steve Jobs. Right now, I'm just a very geeky teen, and I really want to make a difference in the tech world. I believe Steve was one of the most innovative and best tech entrepreneurs. I really admire all the work he did for Apple, because it benefited pretty much the whole world in the end!

10:21 AM  
Blogger Jackie said...

What a wonderful thread of thoughtful comments! I admire different people for different reasons but if I had to choose just one person would be Oprah! She used her show as a platform to bring the injustice to women suffering in so many countries around the world.

To be born in North America as a women is a gift! I think she will go down as one of the greatest philanthropists of our generation.

11:38 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...


First—thank you for your response.

It is very cool to hear the people you admired were inspirations for finding your own musical expressions. Often I think people admire others to the point of simply wanting to echo what they see/hear (imitation is the most sincere form of flattery), but to take those inspirations and create something new is the greatest tribute of all.

An aside—Jimi Hendrix grew up in my neighborhood and went to the same high school as my kids. (Quincy Jones is another alum).

I would love to hear some of your music. If you see this note and can attach a link, I will definitely check it out.

Thanks again,


12:57 PM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Lupo, thank you for your comment.

I agree—the Dalai Lama is truly worthy of admiration, and his model of humanity is a great inspiration to us all.

Best regards,


12:59 PM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

M, thank you for commenting.

Steve Jobs is definitely one of my top heroes. I know a lot of people think he was not such a great human being because he was very demanding and not warm and fuzzy, but my belief is that he was a private person and few except those in his inner circle ever really experienced the personal side of him.

There is no question—he has had more impact on modern life in America and in other developed parts of the world, than any other innovator in the past century. This is all to say, you and I are definitely on the same page in that regard.

My hope is that, beside being an amazing innovator, that he was a good person, too. Somehow, I believe he was.

Best regards,


1:03 PM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Dear Jackie,

First, my gratitude for your comment here.

Second, Oprah is truly inspiring. Not only was she responsible for bringing a lot of taboo subjects into the open—giving victims a forum for expression and to build compassion and understanding—but her generosity to others is legendary.

Thank you for taking the time to take this thread in a different (non-tech, non-ascetic) direction. I believe Oprah will go down in history as a major influence on western culture.



1:07 PM  
Anonymous Anees said...

The looong list of my heroes includes Peter Vidani, cofounder of tumblr (the themes he designed made me a fan), Kevin Rose (digg) and many more (not to mention the super hero or hero of hreoes Stephen Paul Jobs)

5:04 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Anees, thank you for your comment!

Jobs, Rose and Vidani have influenced modern culture, and from this point forth, it will never be as it was.

But not only did they change the way we live, view and experience things, my guess is their accomplishments will continue to fuel and inspire future innovators.

My hope is, in there somewhere, the people we most admire are not *just* brilliant — that they are also good human beings.

Thanks again / best regards,


12:03 PM  
Blogger Kaitlyn S. C Hatch said...

When I first moved to the UK my aunt sent me my grandmother's memoirs. My grandma was a war bride who left England when she was 24, the same age I was when I arrived here for the first time. She moved to a farm in Alberta, miles away from her friends and family and everything she'd ever known. Her memoirs share a story of courage, stoicism, and determination. She took a lot of knocks in her life but she was always positive, upbeat and energised.

She is a true hero to me and even though she died when I was very young I have always and will always admire her.

1:08 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Hi, Kaitlyn and I'm grateful you took the time to read and comment—so thank you.

How amazing and wonderful to have your grandmother's memoirs. Although they lived in different times, I think our grandmothers shared a number of experiences.

It makes me wonder how, when life was so challenging, people could be so resilient. The stoicism you mention was part and parcel of life then. I cannot imagine that today.

Thank you again for your thoughtful response.

Kind regards, Terri

1:39 AM  
Blogger JaqStone said...

Really enjoyed this post, Terri.
As a child my heroes were the people who stood up for those who had no voice. Today, it's more the ones who show up as who they really are and empower others by their example.

1:08 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...


Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and offer a thoughtful response.

I sometimes think, with the advent of reality television, we see too many people "as they really are." But the distinction you make, "empowering others by their example," is rare—and a behavior I would love to see practiced by more people.

Really great to connect and see we are friends with Pramit. He's the best. Thanks again for taking the time here. I'm looking forward to connecting more.

Best regards, Terri

1:20 AM  
Blogger Juan Rojo said...

Great post Terri! I just started reading your blog a few days ago and now I'm a fan. At times, it does feel as if society has been swept up in the not-so subtle worship of wealth and the ever present cult of personality. I have always been inspired by my parents, because they brought me up by example and helped me to learn very early what really matters in this short race called "life".

7:21 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Heya, Juan!

Thank you so much and I apologize for the delay in posting and replying but I was out of the office for 5 days and just got back to Seattle.

It's beyond gratifying to think any of this resonates with people, so thank you from the bottom of my heart for your response.

Your parents must have been (or still are) really cool. Giving you an anchored sense of self and recognition of what really matters, are valuable gifts.

Hope to see you again sometime —


11:15 PM  
Blogger Sean Oliver said...

I think the sad thing is most people dont have any current heroes. I started a list, and started reaching out to mine.

4:43 PM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Hello, Sean,

Thanks for the comment.

And I agree with you — there seems to be a shortage of cultural heroes — at least in the sense of what I was trying to describe.

I'm not really sure how life evolved to the point where inspiration fell so far down the check list. Reading you've started a list and are actively reaching out makes me feel like there is still hope!

Wishing you well and thanks again,


5:07 PM  
Blogger Meredith Allison said...

Great post T-Rex! The first person that came to my mind while reading this was YOU. I'm serious, you are one of the most inspiring people I've known and anyone that is able to inspire others (which clearly you do) is high up there on my admiration list!

6:06 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Dear Meredith,

Thank you so much for reading this, and you are beyond sweet. We went to visit Rich on Memorial Day. Even though it's been years since he died, I still get teary-eyed when I think about him.

Every day I marvel at how lucky we all are to live in this place and time. Five years ago our paths would have found no way to cross, but now it's possible to establish friendships with friends who are so far away — and our lives are enriched beyond what anyone could have imagined.

Thank you for being such an amazing and supportive friend.

Lots of love, Terri

12:28 PM  
Anonymous Albert Ornelas said...

I admire those who took/take a stand when it isn't the popular thing to do. Rosa Parks, Cesar Chavez, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and others who make a difference daily... What a great post Terri.

12:19 PM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Hello, Albert,

Thank you so very much for reading, and especially for taking the time to leave a comment.

I'm honored to think this post made a few people stop and really assess who has made an impact on them. Whether it is a global force like Gandhi or Nelson Mandela, or found in one's own back yard (parents, grandparents), I think it's important to have heroes in our lives. They set examples and teach us often profound lessons that carry forth in our lives.

Wishing you all the best and thank you again,


1:33 PM  
Blogger JO said...

My great-grandmother was born in East Anglia (UK); she learned to sew but not to read and write. She married a widowed vicar who had four children. She had five more - and then he died.

She took all nine children to a garret in East London, and sewed shirts for gentlemen so she could pay for all nine children to go to school. And now her descendants are off to university!

12:08 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Jo, what an amazing and inspiring woman you were fortunate to have as a great-grandmother. Reading about her resourcefulness, will and determination she planted the seeds of success for all of you.

My gratitude to you for reading and thank you for sharing her story.

Warmest wishes to you for your continuing success,


12:57 AM  
Blogger kntspl said...

I'm so glad you asked this question. It's amazing but I've discovered that many of the youngest folks on Twitter in my circles of health care and social media #HCSM are men and woman I admire. As a Baby Boomer (barely I might add) they do not hold the stupid bias don't trust anyone over 30. They Frankly don't give a Rat's (bottom) how old you are, how much education you have, what county you live in, etc.

The person I most admire right now is @jackandraka age 16.
Yesterday Jack presented at @RoySocMed look at his Tweets. Thank you, Thank you, etc.

I invite all of you Guys to our tweet chat this Tues #HCLDR on Twitter. Jack Andraka will be our Guest. We gather together on Twitter Tues 8:30 PM EST. Love to have you join us. This is a remarkable community.

12:30 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Hi, Lisa!

Thank you so much for reading and commenting here. It's great to think there is an age group that isn't ageist, as I think the practice can become a real obstacle as we grow older.

I loved the video about Jack Andraka and shared it on GooglePlus. And I've also followed him because of your suggestion!

Your time window looks great, but unfortunately this is my busiest time of year so I won't be able to make it. After July is over, I should have more time and would love to join you in another chat.

So wonderful to make your acquaintance! And again, thank you for taking the time to read and comment. I'm very grateful!


1:06 AM  
Anonymous Ralph A. Gilmore said...

Hi Terri!

I really enjoyed this piece...brilliant and wonderfully written! I have so many people that I've grown to admire throughout the course of my entire life; some famous and some not-so famous. I've followed and idolized some incredible people such as Michael Jordan (Hall of Fame Basketball Player), Bruce Lee (Legendary Martial Artist and Movie Icon), Martin Luther King Jr. (Civil Rights Leader and Activist), Jim Lee (Comic Book Artist) and my father, who passed away last year due to a combination of diabetes and a bout of drug-abuse which occurred earlier in his life. I know he made some mistakes along his life's journey, but it doesn't lessen the man that I looked up to for the majority of my life; I still do til this day. Great family man, hard worker, loyal and he wore his heart on his sleeve; everyone in the community loved him. Sometimes the best of us get caught up in some of the snares and temptations of life; then by the time we figure out how to beat those "demons," it might be a little too late. Knowing my father for the kind of man he was, I'm willing to bet that he's in a better place than we can ever imagine.

Again Terri, great post and thank you for reminding me of the great memories that I have of my father. I'm also a big fan of yours as well!

Love and light,

~ Ralph

11:36 PM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Tony, I'm sorry it took me a while to reply. I know there's almost no chance you will see this, but thank you for taking the time to read and comment.

It really strikes me that popular culture is leading people astray, and that values that are worthwhile are often reside in the shadows of superficial ones.

Speaking of admiration, Tony, you are amazing to me. You had a goal, did all the hard work to lay the groundwork and have been hugely successful. My hat's off to you, and though we have lost touch, just know I'm cheering for you from the sidelines!

Warm regards,


12:01 AM  
Blogger terrinakamura said...

Dear Ralph,

Hello, and thank you so much for your wonderful response.

Heroes are important because they can inspire us to set us upon the paths we follow.

You’ve named some great examples, including your father.

To have love and regard for our parents is one of the greatest tributes we can give them. And they don’t need to be perfect to earn our admiration.

Having a father who was there for you, who showed you the value and moral principles of hard work, and who loved you unconditionally, made you who you are today.

I’m sorry he struggled at one point in his life, but overcoming an obstacle required strength and conviction. So in surviving it, he further gifted you the value of perseverance.

We are on this earth for whatever amount of time we are given. During his life, your father left a legacy of goodness that continues to live through you.

Ralph, I’m grateful that fate conspired to allow our paths to cross.

Thank you again.

Warm regards,


12:41 AM  

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