What do you find inspirational?
By it's very definition it should be anything which inspires you, but that could be anything. Last week, for example, I read this story, which inspired me to write an exciting Christmas adventure story for my daughter. we're going to read it on Christmas day and she's rather excited, I may share the short children's story at Christmas... we'll see if Itsy thinks it's any good first!
It did make me think though, other people may have found that an amusing, or even slightly silly, news story, so inspiration must be different for each of us. It would explain how geniuses (or should that be genii?) of old were able to imagine some of the fantastic things that we now take for granted! Who first made the letters of our modern alphabets? What made them shape the letters the way they are? What about the symbols they use to express pronunciation in dictionaries? Who thought those symbols up and assigned them a meaning? I can see how watching a bird in flight would push someone to try and find a way to power human flight, but what provided the leap to the internal combustion engine?
And then I think further, does it depend on what the affected person is inspired to do, whether the thing that inspires them is actually considered inspirational?
This morning's Pause for Thought on the radio mentioned a booklet (Love Life, Live Advent) which contains little ideas to inspire people, each day of advent, into thinking about what Christmas really means, obviously in a church context, and tries to suggest a few things that people can do to make life a little better for other people. This is clearly an inspirational leaflet, it's existence, it's whole purpose is to inspire good deeds and kind (and hopefully happy) thoughts in people. Having taken the liberty of purchasing an electronic copy of the booklet, I have decided that it is probably aimed, primarily, at people with children, but the ideas can equally apply to adults, and obviously, it is heavily intent on inspiring prayer and religious meditation, but there is no reason why the vast majority of the daily ideas couldn't be applied to an atheist equally as easily. I don't want to do spoilers, but some of the ideas are as simple as helping someone who you know is very busy this month? Or donating food to a food bank? Or, my personal favourite, spend time looking closely and thinking about the form and shape of something as simple as a pine cone. Almost like saying, you know what - modern life is hectic, especially in December, take a minute, take a time out, have a break and think about something that is just a thought. I like that. I found that inspirational.
So, apart from writing an exciting Christmas Adventure story, what have I been inspired to do? Well, I'm going to do some of the things suggested in the booklet, and I am going to try to remember this month, that it isn't all about the presents and the pre-apocalyptic Christmas Eve milk and bread buying scrum