A Guide to Inspiration Table of Contents
A Guide to Inspiration is a series consisting of 1 parts.
- A Guide to Inspiration: Reach Out
Inspiration comes to us in many ways. It can come delivered in a package, in a speech, or even in a text message. It is formless – even shapeless – like water. It can truly be in anything at any one moment. Sometimes when we see it, it will be obvious. Other times, we must look harder – into ourselves and into the things before us. Sometimes it isn’t there when we think it is. Sometimes it is there when we think it isn’t. And when we do find inspiration, it produces a subtle overflow of emotion. It builds within us. It ignites us.
And although the feeling of inspiration is so clear, it is something that is hard to describe. It is elusive of a good, clear definition. Perhaps it can only be felt through words, but not communicated through them. Perhaps it is purely subjective, being able to literally be two different things to two different people.
With all the uncertainties of inspiration, we’d like to take some time and discuss what we think really can inspire. Let’s start with reaching out.
Take Time and Reach Out
Reaching out can mean two things: first, it can relate to reaching out to those friends long passed, and second, it can relate to reaching out and helping those who you are just meeting. Both forms of reaching out inspire both sides of the equation. There isn’t much like talking to someone you’ve missed, nor is there much like knowing you helped a total stranger. Likewise, there’s not much like being contacted by an old friend or having someone totally random help you out.
This very article, I must admit, was inspired by reaching out to someone I’ve known for longer than I can remember. Without divulging too much into personal details, we’ve recently been able to get in touch and share a good conversation. Amazingly, it’s been over 8 years since we’ve had any communication at all. Thanks to a social network, though, we’ve been able to converse a bit, exchange new numbers, and now we’ve both got a new someone to talk to.
Not only has this inspired me to write about my experience, but it has also inspired me to seek out others who may have slipped by with time. It felt good to talk to someone you have a history with. And I can’t wait to talk with this person again. Try it.
Helping Those You Don’t Know
Sometimes, it’s reaching out to new people is just as rewarding, if not more so, than reaching out to those in your past. We often have many opportunities to help others throughout the day, you just have to take some time and look. Find a good cause, help a neighbor, or be open to letting those people in ahead of you during traffic.
Of course, random acts of kindness are always nice as well. Just last week I saw some ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protestors on my commute home. There on the corner sat four determined, chanting protestors who have the best interest of America in mind. Without much thought, I stopped, greeted and thanked them, then brought back a few drinks from the store (fair trade and organic drinks, of course). I shook hands and wished them well.
I know I felt good for it, and I imagine they felt reassured as well. Perhaps this inspired both myself and the protestors to keep working the roads ahead us. Whatever the feelings, they were good. It felt right to reach out and just be kind.
If you’re questioning whether or not to reach out, I suggest reciting this quote:
“No kind action ever stops with itself. One kind action leads to another. Good example is followed. A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves.”