Bryan Rucker’s Life Changed From the Influence of a Good Community

Alaina McLemore

October 05, 2023 | 2 minute read

When I was a kid, I thought quicksand would be a much bigger problem in life than it actually was because it was in almost every cartoon I watched. They wouldn’t show it so much otherwise, right? 

While thankfully, I’ve never encountered quicksand, something that is a bigger deal than I ever thought it would be is community. To be honest, I’ve never given the idea of being part of a community much thought. To me, it’s always been a way to describe where I live and that’s about it. But the older I get, the more I realize how important it is to be surrounded by a good community of friends and family. It’s something Bryan Rucker describes in his White Chair Film as playing a vital role in finding his hope and purpose in life. Whether we realize it or not, we are part of a community, so we need to make sure it’s a good one.

Rucker grew up on the northside of Houston, the fourth most populous city in America, right after New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. I actually lived there for about five months last year, and it is full of every type of person, culture, education level and background imaginable. In his film, Rucker talks about how the only people setting examples for him as a child were gang members and drug dealers. So he found himself in that world as a young teenager and it became his life. Whether he knew it or not, his community influenced him and set him on a dangerous path.

Watching Rucker’s film made me think about my community and who influences me. I use social media, but I’m rarely tempted to buy things from an influencer. What usually gets me are the ads that show a dreamy outfit, including jewelry and shoes, or a room that’s decorated just right – combining cozy and clean elements that would look just perfect in my house. 

My friends and I also influence each other within our community. We’ll text each other about products and books we’re loving or the latest cleaning hacks we’ve found. So, while social media and celebrity influencers rarely earn a commission from me, I am very much still vulnerable to the influences of those around me.

Who is influencing you and what are they influencing you to do? 

Does your community encourage and inspire you to be the best version of yourself or do they encourage the bad habits you’re trying to break? 

Do they hold you to a higher standard and make you feel bad when you don’t live up to it or do they believe in and encourage you? 

Even when Rucker moved out of Houston, his old habits and way of life continued to be the norm. That is, until he went to work at Duck Commander and met the Roberston family. Yes, that Robertson family of “Duck Dynasty” fame. 

They loved and accepted him for who he was – a person – and began including him at church, on hunting trips and even had him on the show. They didn’t preach to him; they didn’t put conditions on their love or treatment of him; they just loved and let God do the rest. It was a stark contrast to the community Rucker was used to and it impacted his life in profound ways.

“Community is the make or break component for people that get sober and stay sober or for people that experience life change. Just like the relationship I found with everybody at Duck Commander and Buck Commander and how that impacted my life,” said Rucker.

We’re meant to live life in community. 

We should celebrate each other’s victories and be a source of support during hardships. 

If you don’t have a community or feel like you should find a more supportive one, I want to encourage you to keep looking. Get plugged into a local church, find people with similar hobbies or even just start being the kind of friend you want and need. We also have our Live Second online community, where you’ll find resources and message boards where you can connect with others just like you. 

Rucker’s life was completely transformed after he found a healthy community, so what life is waiting for you?

Alaina McLemore

Alaina McLemore

Alaina McLemore is the Technical Copywriter for e3 Partners/I Am Second. She has years of experience in agency and in-house environments and a strong expertise in creative and technical writing. She resides in Texas and enjoys music, reading, traveling to the beach and all-things British.

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