I don't believe in heroes. At least not most of the time. But I do believe in inspirational people. Most of the time, these people are part of my life in some way. Of course I do admire people who lived in the past or are famous (more or less) for something today. This is why it's rather difficult to narrow down my ideas for this post in the Thirty Day Challenge.
Perhaps one of the reasons I have such a difficult time deciding these things is because I can generally see multiple sides to a story, issue, person. For instance, I could say I find Gandhi inspirational -- after all, who doesn't admire devotion to the peaceful overthrow of an imperialist power? -- but then I think that early in his life he decided that in order to be "pure" he couldn't have sex with his wife ever again, and that sounds a bit crazy to me. On the other hand, choosing someone I know as an inspiration inevitably leads to panicky thoughts, like "Oh, I hope I didn't offend anyone because I chose this person and not him/her." So I sound a bit crazy myself. There is no winning.
And so I have decided to choose one famous person I find inspirational -- warts and all -- and one person in my life I find inspirational and let the chips fall where they may.
A good portion of my former students would be able to tell you right now who my inspirational famous person is: Vaclav Havel.
There is one person in my life who has been a constant source of inspiration. She is amazing and everyone who meets her knows that. I wish that I could share everything about her with you, but since I can't in this forum, let me give you a little glimpse that might help you understand:
Terri is the owner of MaMere's B&B and if you ever get a chance, you simply must stay there -- it's the most beautiful, comforting house I've ever seen. And this is just one of the many things that Terri does in the small little town of Monmouth. She is also very encouraging to everyone she meets, and she provides instant clarity to so many situations! That's probably why she also makes a wonderful coach for parents and teachers struggling with challenging situations. She's turned that into a business too -- the business of helping people -- through YAR: Youth & Adolescent Relationships. She's helped people all around the country, and I respect and admire her more than I can say.
Okay, I have to throw just one more in just for the heck of it: Mrs. Obama.