The Philosophy section of the new Facebook profile invites users to add (tag) “People inspire you”. It’s empty on my profile. I want that to be different.
It’s sad that Facebook allows me to add Beyoncé and Barrack but doesn’t enable me to tag real people, the ones I hang out with, the ones that are more than just a manufactured 2-dimensional image on a TV screen.
Here, then, are the people who inspire me, who lift me, who expect me to deliver more than I believe possible. These are ordinary, everyday people. They’re not celebrities, they don’t drive fancy cars and they aren’t on the big screen. And yet they’re inspirational. These are the people I’d put on my Facebook profile if given the chance.
Rita always meets the world with a smile. Even when things aren’t going how she hoped she still smiles and laughs a lot. She’s selfless and generous and always welcoming. Our house is a home thanks to Rita. And she’s put up with me for 25 years.
Jimmy and his partner Kelly McGrath run Lindley’s Boxing Gym in Carlisle. He calls me Fletcher and is always encouraging. Whoever trains near Jimmy always trains harder. He’s always helping young blokes, teaching them boxing skills and gifting them life skills.
Tats runs Maverick Strategies, a social media consultancy based in Melbourne. Although we’ve never met Tats will often pick up the phone just to say hi or share an idea or find out why I’m moving too slow. She’s a whirlwind of energy.
Before I was born my sister was killed in a motor vehicle accident. I can’t imagine a greater loss for a parent. And she did it tough on the farm. We lived in a tent inside a shed until I was 14. But despite these hardships I’ve never seen Mum anything but happy. She’s always smiling, always positive and continues to carry herself with a proud dignity.
A couple of years ago I worked as a volunteer for Outreach Services and Keith was my mentor. Our aim was to help long term male prisoners successfully re-enter the community. Keith is probably the most compassionate human I will ever meet. He continues to inspire me to see the best in others, even when others choose only to see the worst.
And finally, I’ll add one I have yet to meet or speak to. He’s just a legend and almost always brings a tear to my eye.
Kurt Fearnley is a paraplegic. He’s also an Olympic gold medalist and holds a string of records too many to list here. But it was his Kokoda Track “walk” that really inspired me. To do Kokoda with 2 arms and 2 legs is one thing, to do it dragging yourself through the mud by just your hands? Now that’s inspirational!
Image credit :: stevendepolo on Flickr