You Inspire Me

Posted by Jimmy Minnish on August 7, 2013 under Links | Be the First to Comment

Jimmy Minnish

There are occasions when you might get this message from someone, or just get the feeling that you did inspire someone.  In either event it feels really good. And if you are a normal person, plotting through the world, you might not even contemplate inspiration at all.

I heard a story last month about a man who grew up very poor.  He was on ‘Relief’ before they called it ‘Assistance’.  He was a child of the state who was being brought up by his grandmother.  And, if you were wondering, he is white. As a child of twelve years old, he really didn’t have an idea of how poor he was, or actually never had a clue or a reason to wonder.  He just enjoyed life, his friends, his school, and his grandmother kept him fed, clothed, and he had an area in her small home that was his sanctuary. He was your normal happy young man, just plotting through life.

However, one day he and his grandmother were at the grocery store. At the check-out line, his grandmother was using her food stamps to purchase the weekly groceries.  As she fumbled with her purse and took her usual amount of time, a man in line behind them became annoyed, and he became vocal when she produced food stamps from her purse.

The man spoke harshly to his grandmother and startled the both of them.  The man said, “Food stamps? You WILL NEVER pay that back, you will ALWAYS be a burden to society!”

The young boy was set aback. This was the first time he had ever heard anyone be gruff with his grandmother.  The little lady turned and calmly addressed the man.  She said, “Well sir, you are right.  I can never repay my debt.  But, this boy here will.”

What did  his grandmother mean, and what would he do to repay such a debt?  When they got home, the boy asked her these questions.  She told him that he was very bright, a fine talented boy, and that one day he would grow up to use those talents to help others.  From that day forward he carried that experience and those thoughts that helped him as a soldier in war, as someone handicapped by wounds he received, as a war veteran while he gained his degrees, and today, he is an owner of a successful company that helps others with disabilities discover their talents.

This man recited the following quote from Oliver Wendell Holmes:

“A few can touch the magic string, and noisy fame is proud to win them: Alas for those that never sings, but die with all their music in them!”

I think that there are two ways to be inspired.  One way is to either rise to greatness and others are inspired to emulate you.  These people who emulate you can be mentors, or you might pick someone who is very gifted in your art, field of work, your talent or by someone in your life or profession you became familiar with, or you might have seen strong people performing their job, and that made you want to be like them.

I noted in a blog post recently that I chose my education and vocation based on the “Race for Space.” My heroes were astronauts and I was fascinated with NASA and all that was being developed by them and that industry.  I have had one mentor in my life that I looked up to for their strength and their belief in me.

The second way to gain inspiration is with someone in your life who sees what that boy’s grandmother saw in him.  You don’t have to be a child’s teacher, a spouse, an adult in their family, a church leader, a favorite uncle or aunt.  You can be a fellow worker, a friend or anyone in a person’s life.  The fact is you don’t have to be a constant in a person’s life.  You can believe in one’s ability, or give them thoughtful pointers.  Perform a “random act of kindness” that can give that person a boost, or trigger them to “find their music.”

Relish the occurrence if someone tells you that, “You inspire me.”  This could come as a total surprise, and in some cases you will think to yourself that it was your plan.

A high school teacher once had her students write the things they saw as positive about their fellow classmates in her class.  The assignment was interesting to the students and they worked hard on their lists.  Once completed, the teacher read the results to the class.  During a recent tenth class reunion where the teacher was asked to return for the festivities, one student remarked what a difference in her life that that assignment had made.  She pulled the old wrinkled list from her purse.  Then another, and another and another student produced their old wrinkled lists from their wallets and purses.

I like to look ahead of a meeting, deal, dinner, or speaking engagement, or any important event, and forecast the outcome that I want to happen.  And then I do the things that I hope will produce that outcome.  One inspirational speaker said that he wanted to have in his obituary that he was an inspiration.

Let me challenge you if I may.  Put this on your bucket list: help as many people as you can find their music, or if they have found it, help them keep it and assure them there are on the right track by keeping them inspired.  Do it in little, assuring and almost subliminal acts.

Help people you touch in your life find [or develop] their music.

I can’t imagine life before, belief in God, my wife and our children, the rest of my family, my friends, my vocation or, this blog.

(Republished from May 1, 2010)


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