"When we watch our children start a new journey, or life challenge, they look for role models or inspiration. We usually never think of being an inspiration for them." And she added that "whatever we do, we need to have the aim of becoming an example, an inspiration for others."
I posted a comment on her blog with the following words, which, in their mix, impose upon me a re-varnishing duty which I cannot avoid, even as I repeat them:
You ask elsewhere: "How do people judge you?" And you answer: BY OUR ACTIONS." That's right. Talk can reveal the inner soul, and talk can inspire; but talk, as someone or other keeps saying, is cheap.
To be inspired is to be fired up. The question is: By what? By whom? Yet "whom" is an imperfect word, for what it brings to mind in the first instance is a kind of singularity that is too confined and, as an anchor of sorts, too confining. The only safe "whom" is a plural "whom." But we, as individualities, are a part of that -- or a part of it as well. That's what you had in mind I think. And that's the main story.
As for the question "By what?", the essential answer remains, in your own words: BY OUR ACTIONS. But any layered answer we attempt returns us to the base, to the realization, that the "what" can be many things, and can never be the one size that fits all. It may be a moment that sits up; or an event that rewires the brain by refreshing pictures in the mind. Yet words too -- as JFK's, as MLK's, as Obama's, as Kimmy's -- can inspire. If we live by them.
In a community enriched by social capital, and to anyone over five or six or seven years -- I hit "t" for tears for a moment there, but caught myself (so, no oops) -- there are many points and instances of light besides mother or father or older sibling. As they say, "it takes a village."
But the village is more than the sum of the people, for it has many parts, and fuses nurture and nature in ways we strive to understand, but typically do only in half-measures.
And it sometimes takes, yes, tears -- to come upon the true path to our destiny. And not tears of joy.