People Who Inspire

Without a doubt, I’m sure you have a person (or number of persons) you can point to as being inspiring to you. Maybe they are a source of inspiration for many people, maybe only for you. Some of you will point to a religious figure, while others will see the neighbourhood baker or grocer as the most inspiring person you can name. It doesn’t matter so much what position they hold or what great bodies of work they have produced over a lifetime, or in the last month or year. Perhaps it’s something grand, perhaps it’s small. Who can say what is truly the best measure of a life, or of a person whom we can say was an inspiration to us.

Finding inspiration in unlikely places

I have my own list, but to be honest, it’s no list at all. Inspiration doesn’t always and doesn’t need to come from a singular thing. There is inspiration in the most unlikely of places, and where I found inspiration today is the reason I am writing this now.

Two different people (who are not famous or well-known) touched my heart today- two people who live their lives in the best way they can. For me, this is where the inspiration lives. It lives in the place where we all live or, at least, can dwell. It is not rare that I meet two people in one day who touched that place in me, but also not common. Understanding that it may have been as a result of an openness on my part- in the moment- to accept what there was to learn from these two souls is not something I deny. This may be at the very place where true compassion lives, and as much as we all like to believe we are compassionate, we do not always allow ourselves the opportunity to accept what can be a special learning moment.

Recognizing and accepting inspiration

“Accepting” and “acceptance” are words that are jam-packed with meaning for me. They address something similar to tolerance, but that word implies that we tolerate people or things, but do not necessarily embrace them in a compassionate way. We all have a different history and life story, which is unique to us, despite the generalizations that are so often made. We must take the time to listen, and I admit that sometimes, I fail to listen well. If we truly listen, we can learn and better our own view on the important things that transcend any labels. Labels rarely work well, and mostly serve to measure things that are measurable only in the minds of those doing the measuring.

My measure of the two people who touched my world is that they are inspiring people. They are inspiring in how they approach their challenges. They are to be admired, by me, yes, and hopefully by those people close to them who recognize their strengths and qualities- the kind we can all learn from.

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