Being inspired

A friend, when asked in her job interview, named me as her inspiration. That was probably one of the most touching things anyone has ever said to me. It got me thinking about my own inspirations in life.

Immediately I do think of my mum. A single mother who raised four kids with little finance and little academic background – each of us now succeeding in our own way, strong in our own way and bettering ourselves in our own way. Her strength still gives me strength and her courage gives me courage. But I suspect many people are inspired by their mums – the role itself, done properly, is inspiring.

But after that I struggled.

There are many people who inspire me – through things they do and achieve, things they write, things they say and things they discover. My friend inspired me to write this post, another inspired me to start this blog, and a teacher inspired me to even start writing. But I wouldn’t consider these people, even though they’ve touched me in some way, to be my answer when asked ‘who inspires you’. The word in my head has so much more to it than inspiration to do an action. I imagine it to encompass a changing of heart and soul.

So I looked to the past and found my Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), his companions (blessings upon them) and the other figures of the past like Asiya (wife of Pharaoh). I read about their lives and struggles, try and emulate their lifestyles and aim to be like them. They inspire me to be kind, to be generous, to be honest. They inspire me to be strong in my faith, to trust my heart and to be humble enough to ask for help.

I find all the giants who’s shoulders I stand on. The world shakers, the ones who have paved the way. The likes of Malcolm X and all those who’s names I don’t know. The ones who dedicated their lives to liberating our lives and mind so I can be where I am today, study what I have today, think what I do today and be who I am today.

And then I look to the people who I know. All the students who innovate and create – start projects and campaigns to transform their worlds – be that their families, their classrooms, their community or the system. Each radical individual who teaches me not to give up, the power of optimism and the unfaltering strength in unity.

Till I’m filled with hope and just for a moment I look to the future and see my siblings and cousins questioning things I never noticed, the children in Palestine who resist their oppressors, the babies born despite the poverty around them.

I realised and remember just how lucky I am to have so much inspiration around me.

Who inspires you?

[This post and quote selection had been written before the passing of my friend. How funny that just a few days ago I struggled in answering this question but now he is the first person to come to mind. We don’t appreciate the giants around us till they have left a gaping void.]

Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he? – Clarence Oddbody

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12 thoughts on “Being inspired

  1. If someone says he/she is inspired by you , it’s really touching. It does inspires us to do plenty of more good things to follow. This post also making me thinking by whom I am inspired ? I was greatly inspired by Sir Issac Newton, a great scientist , but he is no more now.

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  2. Wow you showed a lot about yourself through this. Honestly, I have inspiration not from one individual, but a collection of them that all stand out in their own way. My writing is inspired by countless authors, but J.K. Rowling (common answer I know) is the one who got me so heavily invested in reading.

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  3. Well, there are so many inspirational people in my life, and those from the past and in the world that it’s hard to choose.
    But this time I will choose an important historical figure: The Holocaust Diarist Anne Frank. Despite being so young and living in a horrible period in history- World War II Era Europe- she endeavored to live up to her dream as a writer. Her diary spanned only the two years she spent hiding in an attic in Amsterdam, Netherlands, but is one of the most incredibly deep writing I’ve ever read. Tragically, Anne Frank died at age 15 in a concentration camp in 1945. However, her writing lived on and inspires young people to continue trying their best regardless of what circumstances they find themselves in.
    Now that’s called resilience.

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    • Yes! I remember reading her diary when I was in year 6 (so probably around 10 years old). She was one of my first heros – an incredible writer and someone who had been through an incredible and terrible experience. Resilience is defo the right word to use here!

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  4. Inspiration is a funny thing for me. I say this because I don’t often think about what can be inspiring for my own life. After all, this is a difficult question to answer. However, answering the question, I would say that my inspirations are so temporary that I cannot give you an exact answer. On some days, a specific person is my inspiration and on other days I have none at all. I will say that my mother was always a role model for me but that’s a lame answer; plus, she stopped being a role model for me. I always idealized her and I have come to see her for who she is other than just my mother. She’s a wonderful person but not a role model anymore. Who inspires me? I guess life does. Simple as that.

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