Note: Post originally written for a series about inspiration on Emergen.
You might think I am very hard to please. Maybe that’s true. I don’t know.
What I do know is you could toss names like “Gandhi”, “Mother Theresa” and so on at me and it wouldn’t matter one bit to me. They are all great people and have done wonderful work but…
…they don’t inspire me.
It’s not one person or several people who inspire me.
See, I am an editor, I must therefore be true to my profession and read books, own cats and most of all quibble incessantly.
I believe in the capacity and capability of people to do and be so much more than they often imagine themselves to be. If someone tells me that they want to do something, I can often see exactly how they would go about it if they wanted to.
However, people being people, they often instead using their fear as a stepping stone, get dragged back down into it and never live up to what they want to be or make an effort to reach out and be what they want to be.
So for me, what I am most inspired by is that moment when while talking with someone, I see them make the decision, take the step, whatever it may entail to move to where they want to be or have dreamed of being.
I see the huge Joker-like grin on their faces, I see their eyes start to shine, I hear their voices get louder and faster till, if you focus solely on them and nothing else for a moment, you seem to get lost in a wacky kaleidoscope of sounds and sights.
That’s passion. That inspires me. Because I love nothing more than seeing people try. I write and edit because I want to give people a means of communicating what they are passionate about but also because I want to tell people things that will shake them up enough to try.
I don’t like apathy – or at least I like it (it has its uses) but not when it gets in the way – much the same way I feel about fear.
So I can’t point you to one person or even say to a family member or something like that.
I can show you this world and its resources, quirky, unfair distribution of said resources and all. I can show you the 7 billion people on the planet. I can show you the sheer huge amount of time you have in a lifetime that you can direct towards using to make an impact.
I can show you the truth of the fact that nothing about anything else will matter till you decide it does. Till you make a choice to do something you want to do, the way you want to do it, how you think you should and for a reason you believe in.
At that point, in that moment, I would find what you are experiencing to be inspiring. And only in that moment – that’s just how I work, no offense. I might admire you as a person but you wouldn’t be a source of inspiration to motivate me to do anything.
The point is I don’t matter. Because in that moment, you could become the person – the next Gandhi, Theresa, Shakespeare, Woolf, what have you – that inspires a new generation. And you, to them, will matter. And yes, that is important.
Far more than you will ever imagine.
Stop reading. Go live.
Go inspire someone else already.