Monday, October 9, 2017

Inspirational Post 2 :: Write 31 Days

Photo credit: Mike Tinnon @m15ky

On Saturday I wrote about inspirational posts and quickly decided that there are two different, but similar, types of inspirations. One type is a common inspiration, Biblical quotes. Saturday's post dealt with that particular kind. {click on Write 31 Days on the tabs} The other type of inspirational quote is what I called human inspirations. 

Human inspirations are perhaps a little more difficult and maybe a little more varied. Let's define it by saying that anything not inspired by God (see Saturday's post) must be inspired by human beings. Whether that human lived a difficult life and can share survival methods or someone found a quote from a great book, play, biography or other source, we can call these human inspiration. In other words, human inspiration originates from another human source. There are times when the two types mesh together beautifully. At those times you can leave it up to the reader to tease them apart if doing so adds to meaning.

A quote from a great novel could be your starting point. But so could a story from your or someone else's life. Remember the Paul Harvey "The Rest of the Story" radio program? Many of those were inspirational, very human stories. Paul Harvey told his stories beginning with what his listeners most likely knew. He built the story up with facts and details. Then he said, "and now you know the rest of the story" and gave a surprising detail that was often the name of the person whose life experience he had just told. Using Harvey's plan could work quite well and did so for his radio program for 33 years. Certainly you can create your own formula. 

Why do you suppose these kinds of inspirational posts are popular? I think it's because people can easily identify with other people and their lives. Oftentimes, we want to identify with well-known personalities. 

Photo credit: Sweet Ice Cream Photography @sweeticecreamphotography

My experience is nothing like that of an actress or famous singer. It really doesn't matter which one you name, my life is entirely the opposite: I am neither rich, famous, beautiful, nor glamorous. However, I can likely see that every person is human. Tell me something sad or happy or odd about that personality, and I'll be better able to see how we are alike. Show me how that person's life was changed by one situation, and I will think of a situation in which my life was changed. Perhaps those situations are similar, but similarity is not always necessary.  Suddenly I can connect with a person whom I am least like. Now I can begin to see how the experiences of others can help me to change my life.

People are changed when tenfold once the first connection is made. It's how we are groomed, if we are lucky, by the adults who guide childhood. The more those adults help a child to make associations to other humans, through their stories and actions, the more likely the child will gain understanding in his own life, to see the world through the eyes of others,to feel empathy, and to act on his feelings of kindness. The connections may begin as a teaching tool for guiding children then continue throughout life. 

Human inspiration is a multi-lane highway: 

  • we are changed in a deeply personal, individual way
  • we seek to experience more of that change as a way of improving our lives
  • we share the experience in an attempt to influence others
  • we live our lives differently, which serves as a model for others
It's because we are human, with the human need to relate to others (to find our flock, so to speak) that we are inspired by the experiences of other people. The vast majority of people want to belong, and most of us want to improve our lives in some profound, lasting way. So we turn to others for encouragement and motivation. Providing that inspiration for others is a way to feel good about ourselves and the world. 

Go out into the world, inspire, encourage, motivate--create the spark that begins a change. To begin big or small matters not for even small changes have the potential for growth.

Links to other posts in this Write 31 Days series:
Writing about Writing Intro 

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