Social Question

thorninmud's avatar

Who are the people around you who inspire you to be better?

Asked by thorninmud (17929 points ) November 9th, 2012

Are there “ordinary” people in your community, family or workplace whose example makes you think, “I should be more like that”?

There’s a guy who lives at the opposite end of my block. Three times last winter, I came out to find that the snow had been cleared from the sidewalks on both sides of the street. I only found out who did it because I caught him in the act early one morning.

Then a few weeks back, I saw that he had gone down the block and raked the leaves out of the gutters along that same stretch so that a heavy rainfall could drain away.

It makes me feel very small to see how this guy so unobtrusively pulls the weight for the whole danged block. Just sees what needs doing and says “Why not me?”.

I should be more like that.

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7 Answers

Shippy's avatar

This is such a lovely question. The past few years I have been a hermit, and recently sold my home. I met such inspiring, lovely people through that. Just that alone has restored my faith in humanity. I have to think on who inspires me the most, so will probably answer this question twice! (When I chose one person)

tom_g's avatar

Great question. When my wife and I moved into our last neighborhood, we had these great neighbors across the street. During the first snow storm we had while there, we arrived home late with our young infant, and they had shoveled our driveway and walkway up to the door for us. This was not unusual for them. They were Christian Scientists and never tried to convert us. They’re probably the overall nicest neighbors I have ever had.

Most of my inspiration these days comes from very small acts. When I am paying attention, I am inspired by those that genuinely take time out of their crazy lives to make a connection with me. I can be rushing around and blind to the fact that these “obstacles” are people. But sometimes I will come across a cashier or some stranger in a market that can actually see me, and in a simple way acknowledge that I am a person. A simple, positive, genuine interaction with another human goes a long way towards inspiring me to see people as people – not “obstacles” that are in my way.

glacial's avatar

@thorninmud I have to say, I don’t have too many people like that in my real life at the moment, but as for my internet life, you are one.

wundayatta's avatar

There are too many. My neighbor who organizes the professors at the community college. My neighbor who runs the pediatric clinic and provides care free of charge to those who can not pay. My neighbor who travels the world organizing for peace and also runs a Messiah sing in his living room every year and omigod I have to start practicing again! Hmm. Maybe I don’t like that inspiration so much, after all.

My former boss who decided to start a software company that made software that helps people get access to benefits they are legally entitled to without having to fill out the same paperwork twenty times apiece and have all that information lost. My former boss who organized hospital workers in Philadelphia.

My former band leader who pulled together people from about five races and three generations to learn his music and play in the neighborhood, even though he had nothing more than the sweater he wore.

The people who organize the nude bike ride.

The people who organize the dance and drumming circles all over town.

Oh man, I could go on and on.

Bread and Roses

Spiral Q

Shakespeare in the Park…

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

I have lived in my town of 850 people for eight years. I doubt that there are much more than thirty people who would know who I was if I were found unconscious in the middle of a street within a block of my residence.

When I go out in public I am friendly and courteous. I’ve been married for almost 10 years but because of my disability, I have been unable to sponsor my wife to live with me here in Canada. My excellent and extensive health care, full prescription coverage (no deductible or co-payments), complete dental care, and vision care needs are provided free here and almost half my income also depends on my continued residence in this Canadian Province. That is why I could not afford to take up residence in the USA. I would not never seek to reside in the USA even if I were offered permission to do so

Despite the fact that I have explained this politely both verbally and in writing to the staff at the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) they continue to treat me treat me with unjustified suspicion when I want to cross the border to visit my wife for short periods (e.g. a week or so) Despite my severe chronic back pain, they routinely force me to come in and sit in the waiting area on a steel bench for up to an hour each time without even asking me any questions or examining the detail log I keep (at their suggestion) of my travels into and out of the USA. They refuse to explain my they force me to sit in “time out.” They won’t even admit that I have been selected for such treatment let alone why they do this to me.

I carry a Nexus card, issued jointly by CBP and Immigration Canada which is issued only to Trusted Travellers. This routine harassment at the US Border keeps me from spending more than a little time with my wife in her apartment in the USA.

My wife is not subjected to such trouble when she enters Canada as long as her visits with me in Canada do not exceed the duration she specifies on her arrival at the border. In an average month, we are required to be apart far more than we are permitted to spend visiting each other.

We manage to see each other 7 to 11 days per month.

My wife is my only source of regular human contact. She brings out the best in me, more so than any other person I have known in my 58 years of life. Her emotional support and excellent insight into other people routinely brings out the best in me. She continues to help me maintain and build the relationships I have with my children and our grandchildren.
It is because of how she brings out the best in me, that I manage to remain cheerful and to demonstrate an optimistic and positive attitude.

AshLeigh's avatar

My niece inspires me to be better. Not because of what she does, but because I’d like to be a good example for her.

linguaphile's avatar

My boyfriend inspires me to be better, just by believing in the real me more than anyone has for a long time. He expects and almost demands that I be nothing by my real and honest self. I love him for that.

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