Inspiration is the spark that shows us another way, a better way. According to dictionary.com, it is:
- an inspiring or animating action or influence:
I cannot write poetry without inspiration.
- something inspired, as an idea.
- a result of inspired activity.
- a thing or person that inspires.
- Theology .
- a divine influence directly and immediately exerted upon the mind or soul.
- the divine quality of the writings or words of a person so influenced.
- the drawing of air into the lungs; inhalation.
- the act of inspiring; quality or state of being inspired.(1)
Its origins are :
"1300-50; Middle English inspiren < Latin inspīrāre to breathe upon or into,
equivalent to in- in-2 + spīrāre to breathe" (1)
Just as its origins suggest, we need inspiration to live. Classical musicians and composers capture emotions and imagination with increasing complexity. Slaves picking cotton in inhumane conditions used spirituals to survive the work. Spiritual leaders in all world religions encourage us all to forgive, love, and take care of each other. Political leaders, including a new generation of student activists, solve social problems to overcome war, disease and famine. Medical personnel dedicate their lives to the healing of our bodies, even as new diseases and new strains evolve. Artists create paintings and sculptures to portray the world as they see it, in all its beauty and cruelty. Scientists continue to dissolve barriers in space, physics, biology, ecology and chemistry. Educators improve learning by studying psychology, computers, and observation. In every human endeavor, there are those who are so unique, so dedicated, and so committed to their field, that we continue to make steady progress, not always forward, but ultimately forward.
During one year in my life, I raised three children in poverty. To keep myself going, I decided to read youth biographies of famous people. I didn’t have time to read the adult version. I was amazed at how hard some of their lives had been. I hope to spend some time this year reminding myself of their stories and creating a few of my own. I hope you will find inspiration in these posts.
Usually, we think of inspiration as a lofty quote or a famous person, and there are those who inspire us by the way they lived. But it is possible to inspire others with simple actions. I wrote about the effect our actions can have on others in my poem "The Soul Quilt" which will be published in the Blue Heron Review in winter of 2019. We never know when we will do something that will help others.
(1) https://www.dictionary.com/browse/inspiration, accessed 1/9/19