Inspired

April 4, 2010
Music, books, people; they can all inspire us to be better in our daily lives, remain optimistic for what is to come. The feeling you get when you let one of those things inspire you is amazing, a truly awe-inspiring experience. When you surrender control to your emotions, just allow yourself to feel what it makes you feel. Those moments can make you so very happy, hopeful. I have felt this way many times, one instance in particular coming to mind.

Once upon a time, not too long ago, my family and I took a trip to the coast. We stayed at this beautiful beach house with a lovely view of the ocean. I enjoyed my time there immensely, but all the while I was a little bit down. While we were there, I stumbled across a bookshelf in one of the rooms. Stored away on its small little shelves was a treasure; a book called Tuesdays with Morrie. I looked at it, the tiniest bit skeptical of the thin little book, but I decided to read it anyway. It turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life.

Hidden away in that simple looking book was a masterpiece, a wealth of life lessons that once read, would not leave my mind. Tuesdays with Morrie is about an old college professor who contracts ALS. As his body withers away, his old student (who coincidentally is the author of the book) comes and visits him every Tuesday. Over the months, Morrie explained to him so many different things that just made me think. Ideas about happiness, love, friendship, faith. These ideas made so much sense to me, and they inspired me to live my life the same way he did. Morrie lived his life with no regrets, and he loved more openly than anyone I have ever known. He loved, cried, feared, forgave, forgot, believed, all with more life than I could ever imagine. Morrie really brought new meaning to the phrase “Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die tomorrow”.

One of the things that really stuck with me was that he was never ashamed. Now days, we are always looking for signs that people are judging us, judging what we do or say or sometimes even feel. We make sure that we have the right clothes, the right car, the latest and the most expensive of everything. We make sure that we don’t do or say anything that another person could deem unworthy or just plain strange. What Morrie did, he went through life doing what made him happy! He acted like a kid, wasn’t afraid to draw attention to himself, and said what he wanted to, whereas other people hold their tongues far too often, just so they don’t make anyone think they are different. I want to live my life the way he did, never ashamed of what I do, as long as I do what makes me happy. I promise myself I will not care what other people think, or if I have the latest and greatest of everything. I will be happy with what I have and what I do. I know that most often I will not succeed in that endeavor, but he has inspired me to at least try.

Another thing that stuck with me the most was Morrie's capacity to love, to feel. He loved strangers, he loved his kids, his students, his parents, everyone! Also, he forgave and forgot. He accepted everything about a person. That is the person I most want to be. We are all afraid of people judging; I want to be someone who doesn’t judge. I never want someone to be afraid to be their self around me; I will accept everything about them. He has also inspired me to not be quiet about my love. Too often we are afraid to lobe, afraid to give ourselves over completely to a person, let them know and accept us. We are afraid of what might happen, and that fear makes us paralyzed. The consequence is that we don’t even try, and innumerable times we miss out on something that could be beautiful. The book has inspired me to stop being afraid. I also know that I will fail an immeasurable amount of times, for it is human nature to fear, but I can try. I think that is all we can ask of ourselves.

When we ask ourselves if we can be inspired, if we can change, I say yes. Of course we can be inspired! Tuesdays with Morrie inspired me in inconceivable ways. It caused me to hope again, to aspire to be better than I am, to be all that I can be in the best way possible. Most of all, it caused me to think about things in a way I never have before. I love that book and the decision to sit down and read that seemingly insignificant novel, changed me, inspired me, forever.





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