Woman knitting (from street art) Author’s own photo
What sort of people are an inspiration to me? There are famous people whom I find an inspiration. These include political figures, people who have made medical discoveries, explorers and inventors. I feel people in the entertainment industry often get too much news coverage but some are inspirational. Then there are many people who will never be featured in the media but have done much to inspire me. These include family, friends, work colleagues and people I have only had brief contact with. There are people who do a great job in the community some of whom I have never met in person.
I could write an essay on famous people whom I find inspirational but in this article I am thinking of everyday people I have known. These people will never be featured in a history book, a documentary or have a blockbuster made about their life. However, they have been important in my life and have shown me one doesn’t have to be famous to make a difference to the lives of those around.
Various members of my extended family have been an inspiration to me throughout my life. Everyone has something to offer those around them. Some people have energy and enthusiasm. Others have an innate calmness and gentleness about them. Some have a quirky sense of humour and others a positive and optimistic outlook. Contact with family members with a variety of traits and skills has enriched my life.
Over the years I have had the fortune to make many friends. I remember a group of friends from primary school. We formed a club and used to enjoy making up little plays which we would act out for anyone who would watch. These days I wouldn't take an acting part in a play, even if you offered to pay me. However, back then I was less self conscious.
There were friends I played with after school and on the weekends. We would go for long walks by the river and explore the countryside. I recall camping in my back yard. When I think back on these times I am pleased I had an interesting and safe childhood.
As an adult I have made friends with neighbours, work colleagues, fellow students, other mothers and people who have shared similar interests. Some contacts have provided inspiration for poetry or short stories I have written. From friends I have also learnt to widen my interests. Friends provide motivation, support and add richness to one’s life.
I have been inspired by people I have met along the way. Some people I have known have had a disability and have inspired me with the way they get the most out of life and do not feel sorry for themselves. Their carers have also provided inspiration, as have the experiences I have had with support groups.
Sometimes my contact with a person who has stayed in my mind has been very brief. It might be someone I spoke to at a conference, in a shop or on the train. Perhaps it is a busker whose music added enjoyment to my shopping expedition. I particularly remember a lady in her eighties whom I met at a caravan park years ago. She and her husband were camping in a basic tent and sleeping on blow up mattresses. I had a good long talk with this lady and was inspired by her attitude and how active she was, in body and mind.
There are many people I have never met who are indeed an inspiration. Again, I am not referring to famous individuals but people who do amazing things in the course of their paid work or their work as volunteers. There are people who put their life on the line to help others in times of need and when there is a disaster of some sort. As I write there are fire fighters battling bushfires and others playing their part in keeping people safe and protecting properties. There are many who are helping those who have lost their homes.
In the media we hear much about people who commit crimes and those who certainly do not inspire us with confidence in mankind or provide us with hope. However, there are many people going about their daily lives who have inspired me in the past and continue to uplift my emotions.