Among the vast number of people we all meet in our lives, a few stand out as being truly inspirational. It’s a personal thing – sometimes connected to the timing of when you meet them, sometimes not. It might be a chance meeting at a party, someone who’s introduced to you in a work setting, or your next door neighbour.
After five decades, my list is less than ten people (which surprised me) and one of those people makes two appearances. To preserve their identities, I’ve just listed their first initial, but all are people I’ve met or worked with personally. Well done guys. Keep it coming.
The Bounce backs
M. I worked with M for a couple of years back in the mid nineties. M had a great sense of humour, encouraged others, never got stressed and smiled a lot. His enthusiasm for life was infectious. Why was he inspirational? M was a refugee from Kampuchea (Cambodia) and pretty much lived his earlier life like in the movie ‘The Killing Fields’. He survived the Pol Pot era, but lost his entire nuclear family, uncles, aunties and cousins in the process. We all have bad days. M had a catastrophic life. But somehow came through it a philosophical person with a smile for others.
X. I can’t remember her name so will simply call her X. I met X in South America on a bus on route from La Paz in Bolivia to Cuzco in Peru back in the 1990’s. X was a Kiwi nurse working alone in remote Andean villages to help the locals improve their hygiene practices. Why was she inspirational? At the time the Shining Path guerrillas were fighting the Peruvian government. According to X, the Shining Path were trying to polarise the country by killing the people in the middle – apolitical aid workers trying to improving the villagers’ lives. According to X, some villagers told X she was on the Shining Path list. Nevertheless, she continued her work (alone) because the need was there and because the impact was high. I really hope she’s still there helping people.
The first is my oldest son S. He makes You Tube music productions and isn’t afraid to try out in school talent show productions (and help others perfect their performances). I can’t claim a shred of credit for suggesting or helping him do this. His resourcefulness (low budget), originality and attitude are inspiring.
The second is my bosses boss T. T has acted as a default mentor and coach to me – nudging me to contribute more, be a pioneer, think outside the box at work, be audacious and build my own future career path by inventing my own contribution. I’m sure some ideas are complete duds, but he’s enough of a coach to never put me off from wanting to achieve more. How many other bosses that people have are like that (not enough!)? For me, after loads of bosses before him, its also a breath of fresh air and inspirational. Thanks T.
The Goodwill Builders
Again my son S. He’s got involved in voluntary projects (school magazine to inspire entrepreneurial activity) and community aid. Again, I played no part on this. S did it by himself – with flair, leadership and originality. That’s inspirational.
My new 2013 friend G. She inspires people on Facebook on a daily, if not hourly basis. G has launched a website encouraging positive action and fitness-building, especially for women. She also has some great comments about life. Well done G. I’ve seen the comments about the impact you’re having and I’m sure you’re just getting started!
My brother’s ex-girlfriend R. She stepped up for at least six months to help nurse my mother when she was slowly dying from cardiac damage, following a heart attack. I will always remember what you did R and the words you said at the funeral. An inspirational lady who is currently doing a career change and launching her own food business.
My sister J. She defines loyalty and honesty. She has been there for her friends so much that those relationships will endure forever. When it comes to honesty, support and loyalty, J is the gold standard. Well done sis.