There’s a lot of inspirational people in this world who most of us know about: celebrities, authors, politicians, world leaders, other famous or well known people. Ones who people tend to think of as extraordinary.
But then there’s the other people. The ones who aren’t famous. They’re not known in the media or around the world. Maybe they’re your friends. Your family members. Your coworker or neighbor. Someone you met at a bus stop. A teacher you had in school one year, a professor in college. A random stranger on the street or a salesperson at a store, a customer at a place you work.
All the “little” things they do may not reach as many people, maybe the impact of them doesn’t reach people at the same magnitude as the people frequently publicized in the media. But their actions, words, kindness, compassion, & love are no less extraordinary to the lives they touch & warm.
Inspirational people are everywhere.
I decided to create a list of some people who have at one point inspired me somehow. Some of them I know personally. Others I have only encountered once in all my days. But all of their lives have touched mine, somehow, for the better.
1.) The man who stopped his car to ask another man, a random stranger, if he needed help with the ladder he was putting up. “Yo, buddy, you need help with that?” he asked. And it warmed me to see such random kindness extended to a stranger.
2.) The man who noticed I was lost one day and offered me help without me asking. I was lost in Center City Philadelphia a few years ago. I was confused and had no idea where to go or who to ask for help. I walked along the crowded, busy streets and must have appeared to be lost & confused. A man I have never seen before approached me with a warm smile & genuine concern, asking me if I need help. I told him yes, I can’t seem to find what bus I need to get home. He asked me where I was going and showed me where to go. He helped me find my way back home.
3.) The group of little girls who blessed me with kindness which was more than necessary. I was working at the store one night and a group of young girls came for ice cream. They were no older than 13 years old. They all sat on the bench after paying, to eat their ice cream. They were all wearing girls soccer uniforms. After they ate their ice cream they came back to the window and looked at me smiling and whispering to each other. I suspected that they were doing this in the way girls do when they are being malicious. Girls of all ages do this. They can be 8 years, 13 years, 25 years, 40 years, 60 years or older and they will stare, whisper, smirk, gossip, about other girls. Not all girls do this but many do. I wasn’t sure but I thought maybe these girls were doing this. But they were not. They each pulled out money, put it together and handed it to me, “This is a tip for you, thank you” and they smiled at me warmly and walked away. I was and still am so touched by their kindness and generosity.
4.) Diane, the lady who brags about me as if I am her own daughter. I have known her for about 7 years, I met her at work. She has a few sons who are close to the same age as me. She loves to introduce me to new people , loves to tell them how sweet I am, how friendly & loving, and all about my education and interests. If you listened to her,you would think I’m her own daughter the way she’s so proud and so ready to show me off to people.
5.) Brian, my next door neighbor who loves to help stray animals. He is so dedicated to helping homeless cats. He takes them in during storms, feeds them on his steps even though other neighbors get angry saying he attracts them. He goes on doing what he loves, helping animals in need. He places bowls of food near a lot on the street for a mommy kat & her kitties. He comes out at all hours of the night checking on them. He is very friendly & kind.
6.) The stranger who I told everything to in the rain one day under his umbrella at the bus stop. It was after my therapist appointment one day. It was raining hard. It was beautiful. I was waiting for the bus. He stood next to me and put his umbrella over me. He wasn’t coming on to me, wasn’t trying to hook up, wasn’t being a creep or trying to take advantage. He just wanted to help me not get soaked and was genuinely interested in my story. He asked if I live around there I said no. He asked if I work near there. I said no. I told him I go there for therapy. He was interested in why. I told him I have severe depression. He couldn’t relate much but told me his sister can. He asked what it’s like for me. I told him. I expected him to turn away at first, to give me a weird look, a scared look, which some strangers have done when I told them. But he looked at me in no such way. He was kind, compassionate, empathetic, interested, friendly. And he told me about his life & his sister. It was perfect.
7.) The lady who came to my work to buy ice cream and bought a homeless man everything he wanted. He was so grateful, she was genuinely concerned. I bought him a soda. He was so moved. He cried. Said he never experienced such warmth & kindness.
8.) The little girl who came to the store where I work to buy something. She started to walk away then turned back and said “I just want to tell you, you look beautiful tonight.”
9.) The doctors & nurses in the hospital I was in when I was 21 years old and had to get emergency surgery for my kidney. They were so kind, warm, caring, compassionate, & genuinely concerned. I have never been so sick and in so much pain before then. My heroes.
10.) The very patient & helpful Philadelphia detective when I had to try to identify someone who held a gun to my chest and no one in the pictures were that man. Another detective was inpatient, fed up, angry, and bitter with me, for not knowing enough info. Which I understand with all the stressful, heroic work he does day in & day out. But this other man, he was warm & told me how helpful I was and how good I did even though I wasn’t very helpful.
11.) The psychiatric technician I met during one of my hospitalizations for depression. Very caring, compassionate, uplifting, empathetic, unlike many other of the staff members. He cared about us truly. He told us about his own struggle with addiction, how he was hopeless at one point and turned his life around and now helps people who are in a dark place where he once was. He told us we all have an inner sun and to let it shine through, to take good care of ourselves, how deserving we are of love, how capable we are of turning our own lives around. He told us about the “Gambler” song sung by Kenny Rogers and how inspiring it is about life in general, which I already knew but love more now.
This is just a brief list. I have many more inspiring memories/people as well. And not only positive / happy people and things can be inspirational. Tears, heartbreak, struggles, pain, illness, setbacks…can all inspire us and strengthen us.
Who are the “ordinary” people in your everyday who inspire you? I encourage you to frequently make mental notes, and even lists on paper or electronic lists. One seemingly small act of kindness can be so big to the person’s whose life it touches.
You may be touching other people’s lives for the better everyday without even knowing!
You can inspire people in person & through your writing or drawing or singing.
I believe we should appreciate all of the people and the simple things they do and the way they inspire us everyday and I believe we should be the kind of person who inspires others.
Much love, laughter, life, inspiration, & healing to you all.
Thank You, Earthbound angels. Thank You mortal goddesses & gods.