“Families are the compass that guides us. They are the inspiration to reach great heights, and our comfort when we occasionally falter.”
- Brad Henry
The last place most of us look to be inspired…
In Monday’s Inspiration, and on the Daily Podcast all week this week, we’re talking about Family and inspiration.
We all have families. Whether the family is composed of blood-relatives, or “soul-relatives” you have a family, and those families have stories. Tons of them. When families get together and talk, laugh, eat, and “play” magic happens.
The stories and experiences that come from our families are our own personal wells of inspiration, and you can access them any time you like.
I want you to take a moment and really think back and remember all those “characters” sitting up in your family tree… Good, Bad, Ugly (just kidding) the people that pop into your head first will most likely have had an impact on you.
Now, how can you take that impact and use it as inspiration?
Share an experience from your family life that you have used as inspiration to fuel your own life. Whether it was how one of your relatives/friends conquered their circumstances (or they didn’t, but they persisted), or if it was just the way that a particular person in your life chose to live their life that you find inspiring, tell us about it.
Let’s all take a moment to share and celebrate those people in our families that inspire us. Afterwards, be sure to check out our Daily Podcast for your next installment of this week’s talk about Families and Inspiration!
A friend of mine sent me this book called, Listening Is an Act of Love by Dave Isay. It is about this very subject......families and their stories. "A tapestry of American stories, told by the people that lived them to the people they love." It is a wonderful book!!!
I am blessed to have family and friends who really inspire me.
My mother-in-law is on the top of my list, at 86 she is constantly coming up with creative ways of staying active and in touch with us all. She frequently emails and has just purchased a Nintendo Wii!
Through this I am inspired to age with creativity and love.
A good friend has just climbed Mt Kiliminjaro with consciousness and grace. She inspires me to go for my dreams and think big.
Despite personal drawbacks these special people continue to move forward with their lives - no complaints, no victim attitude, they take responsibility and laugh often and heartily.
Who inspires me most in life is Bob. he is not technically in my immediate family but he is my significant other and more a part of me than anyone in my family ever was.
He is kind, loving, and understanding. He works his but off from am till dark. He is strong and independant yet loves to spend time with me. He makes me want to be a better person. Because of him, I try very hard everyday to be the best that I can be. It has been so long since I was able to do that.
Perhaps the most inspirational person in my life was my father. Sadly, his life was cut short over 25 years ago at age 56 by cancer.
My dad was a gentle giant. He had the build of a linebacker and the soul of a teddy bear. That was totally fitting, because he was a toy designer. He was way ahead of his time as fathers go. Nowadays men walk around with snuglis and pushing strollers, but that was pretty unheard of in the 50s and early 60s. My dad was totally involved with his children unlike many of his peers. He made up inventive bedtime stories, sang lullabies, kissed our boo-boos, fed us bottles, changed our diapers and beamed with pride at our smallest accomplishments. He went to our parent-teacher conferences and helped us with school projects. He cooked us pancakes and french toast. He was both an enormously strong and sensitive man, who protected us fiercely, but was not ashamed to cry or be tender.
My dad taught his three daughters that we could be do anything and be anything in this world without limitations due to our gender. He taught us to pass and catch a football, weld, and use a drill press. He made sure I had ballerina tutus and a tool-bench, dolls, Tinkerbell wands, and a chemistry and Tinker Toy set. He rescued me from trees I'd climbed too high and clapped at my music recitals.
When my father was dying in the hospital he became very close to the young residents who were attending to him. A few days before his death he asked that they gather around his bed with his family. He thanked them for all their help. He told them he admired them for the career they were about to embark on that was so life-affirming. He told them he had spent his life trying to make the world a better place for children. He said that play was children's work. And, what inspired me most, he said that while there was great profit potential in designing guns and war toys, he was proud he never had, because his career was also about affirming life.
After my father died, I traveled overseas to see my relatives who live there. My aunt told me that when my father had lived there in the early 1950s he had been offered a position as a professor at a university that is the equivalent of MIT. In a time of horrible austerity and rationing, the university was willing to give him a car, a house and a very handsome salary. My dad had a background in industrial design and plastics. Apparently they wanted him to work on developing a plastic explosive. He thanked them for thinking of him and refused. He later moved back to the US, married, worked as a toymaker and when he was dying, he requested a veteran's funeral. He had been a WWII naval officer. He never told us about this offer.
I am quite sure the offer was very tempting on a material level, but my father was a man of integrity, who lived according to his beliefs. I don't think it's any coincidence that one of his favorite texts was The Ethics of the Fathers. He was a delightful, charming and principled man, beloved by many.
I have consciously followed my father's example by going into a career to improve children's lives. I have stumbled here and there, but I am trying my best to honor my father.
Note: My mother has been a great inspiration to me, too. When Coach Steele suggested we write an unexpected thank you letter, I wrote one to her. She treasures the letter and I am grateful for having been inspired to write it.
My children inspires me with their maturity. Darling daughter 1 is a good listener and friend to alot of people. As a stay at home mom, she started her own baby sitting business, and excells with infants and todlers. She has been through some difficulties with her childen's allergies, but never gets negative with the hope of recovery. She is positve about life, shares complaints only to look for resources, and volunteers to help the aged, other moms and of course children. She has learned to be an excellent cook, preserves food, and keeps a large yard neat and tidy. Her husband has gone through three careers in thirteen years of marriage and she supports him, too. We all call her blessed.
Darling daughter 2 had a difficult pregnancy and changed her life to accommodate the needs of the infant. She works in retail and appears to be greatly loved by her staff. One staff member went part time to help with the baby, and is like one of the family, now. She has a large sphere of influence and is often sought out for advice from young struggling women. Her husband also calls her blessed.
My son is a doer, he never stops living large and in today. HE always finds a way to get what he needs. Last year he had elective surgery on his eyes which was bungled. He has patiently waited for the time to get them fixed. He has served his country, found a great wife, and love's life.
I am inspired that my children have chosen to live life by their strengths and are caring of others... not for what they can get out of others, but for what they can contribute responsibly.
I had a friend that inspiried me she died last year of cancer. She was diagnosed with breast cancer twelve years ago and had a mastectomy then her cancer came back and she fought it for two years. She did not give up her driving or going to the YMCA to swim two or three times a week. She was a fighter and would not give up even durning the worst times. When she had Chemo and was so sick and lost her hair she still did what she could. It was'nt until toward the end that she had to depend on people . She was a remarkable women and missed dearly.
My parents have always been my tower of strength and inspiration for me, but mother was ALWAYS my my biggies inspiration. She was smart, funny, pretty, brillant, loving, kind, knowledgible, communicative, wise, oh the list goes on and on!
She knew how to build up my self-esteem and confidence each and every time I began to fall. She gave me wings to soar out into the world and did it in such a way that I never saw how much she might miss me in the process.
My mother encouraged me to go to college, and then continue on to university. Told me I could be anything or anyone I set my mind to be. If it weren't for her, I would not have learned how to love, share, be honest, deal in fairness, and give unselfishly. She taught me how to be strong in the face of all my health issues and adversities.
When mom died, she took the biggest part of me with her, but when dad died last year, I became orphaned and left alone to fend for myself, really for myself. I feel so very lost, uncertain, and scared in so many areas in my life.
there are two people in my life who are inspirational to me one is my mother who i lost almost 10 years ago at the age 45 to heart disease she raised my sister by herself as a single mother. she didnt ask for help she was a hard work and a good mother whom i miss evey day the other person is my daughter she has special needs right now she may have bad days but she never gives up trying and for those two people i thank god for them being in my life and how honored i am to be a part of theirs.