Our View From Here

Perspectives of Five Women

My College Essay

on May 11, 2011

Webster’s Dictionary defines inspiration as…..

No, I’m not going to be doing that.

I guess it’s hard to choose one person who inspires me.  I know a lot of people who inspire me for different reasons.  Some people inspire me because they can smile in the midst of sadness.  Some people have limitless energy that they channel toward something good.  Some people are smart, some are funny, some are gracious, some are kind.

The people who inspire me the most are genuine, open and kind.  These are things that I struggle with, and I’m incredibly inspired by people for whom those things come naturally.  These people make me want to be more present with the people in my life.

I don’t want to name any names here, I don’t want to embarrass anyone without their permission.

The people who inspire me:

Listen without interrupting. They make eye contact, they nod, but they don’t say anything until they’re asked for an opinion, for advice, or for an answer.  They don’t cut me off because they’re short on time and they don’t try to finish my sentences.

Always start with a smile. It consistently amazes me how much easier things can be if you start with a smile. A smile goes so far in any interaction.  It greases the wheels at busy airports, it smoothes the rough waters of any difficult transaction.  From my gracious friends, I learned that starting with a smile can never hurt, and in most cases, it helps a lot.

Are funny, but never at someone else’s expense. I love joking around with people.  I think laughter is healing.  The people who are the funniest to me never make cheap jokes at someone else’s expense.  It’s possible to be funny, sarcastic and wry without cutting other people down.  The best people know this: You can’t really make yourself feel good when you’re hurting others.

I know I copped out on this assignment; I didn’t name a specific person and enumerate their best qualities.  There are at least a handful of people I know that inspire me by doing these very things every day.  They’re simply lovely people, delightful to be around, they challenge me to be better than I am in so many ways.  Naming one over another is tough.  But, I know I’m lucky to know them all.


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