Receiving Inspiration from the Small Things We Encounter
When we were children, we did not pay much attention to world leaders and other public figures whose achievements and speeches inspired our parents. Our worlds were made up of the little pleasures, the everyday observations we made of our physical world, our playmates and our teachers - the simple fun of watching a ladybug travel across a large leaf or the happiness of having a friend over to play.
As adults, we forget these marvels of our childhood, and we seek to be inspired by the big ideas, by the big heroes, and by the major accomplishments of mankind, just as our parents did. We have forgotten our childhood inspirations, and maybe we should try to capture those types of things again. Maybe we need to remind ourselves that sources of inspiration are all around us. Here are some examples that may cause you to pause, take a breath, and really see your world.
When was the last time you stopped to observe some wonders of nature from which you could draw inspiration? Here are a few things you might want to re-visit:
- Watch a bee as it extracts pollen from a flower
- Watch a colony of ants carrying food back to their nest
- Watch a hummingbird feed itself with its wings moving so fat, you can barely see them
- Watch a mama robin pull a worm from the ground, mush it up in her mouth and then feed it to her babies in the nest.
How hard these little critters work, just for their daily sustenance and to ensure that their species live on. This should inspire all of us to work harder, not just for the sake of our own children but for the sake of all generations to come. What inspiration can we get to do whatever we can, if only on an individual basis, to care for our planet so that future generations have a safe, clean environment in which to raise their children?
We have big heroes – Steven Hawking, the hometown hero who rescued children from a burning building and became an overnight local news sensation, Mother Theresa, the Pope, a politician whose speeches captivate and inspire us. Who, for example, can forget John Kennedy’s words, “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” But what about the small heroes we encounter every day – people who are generous, kind, courageous, and serve as role models to others.
- The kid who steps in and helps another who is being bullied
- The man who stops by a disabled homeless individual and proceeds to give him a large donation
- The child cancer victims who are putting up a courageous fight and remaining positive
- The diner who leaves a huge tip because s/he knows how little servers make
- The man on the street who rakes his elderly neighbor’s leaves and shovels her driveway in the winter.
All of these people should inspire us to be better than we are.
If we continue to look around ourselves, as we go about our daily lives and activities, we will find those things and people that inspire us – It’s what we do with that inspiration that then really counts.