When Was The Last Time You Felt Inspired?

You can inspire someone too

Verena Wilmes
Age of Empathy


Photo by Mike Von on Unsplash

The most important thing is to try and inspire people so that they can be great in what they want to do. -Kobe Bryant

An evening four years ago, at the beginning of January. We were discussing something I don’t remember exactly. But I do remember that text-message you sent me that evening. After I typed a paragraph right from my heart.

“Alright, maybe you’re not going to rule the world with your writing, but … me.”

You said that relating to whatever I wrote that evening. I guess you wanted to express that my honest words made you feel, that they brought something to life inside you. And this was one of the most wonderful things you ever said to me. Those words encouraged me, showed me, that my writing was touching you, that you believed in me.

We were a couple for two years and I still miss our talks. But in hindsight I realized, we never spoke about what inspired you. We never talked about what gave you hope and what encouraged you. The world that surrounds you and me seems to spin too fast, seems too busy and too important, to engage in something like that. Optimism and faith are often belittled and even treated equal with being naïve.

What are those things going to change in the real world, where only hard facts count? Well, I guess a lot.

You loved to call yourself a realist and you had reasons from your past for that. The pain of loss was still alive within you and I can almost hear the voices in your head, whispering doubts and fears until you believed them. So, we never talked about the things that inspired you. You seemed too realistic for things like that. And maybe, there weren’t things that inspired you — besides me. You never said it, but besides that text message on that evening, I do remember the look in your eyes and your smile, when you read that story, I wrote for you. I still listen to the lyrics in those songs you put on CD for me. You didn’t accidently put these songs together.

I know, I let you dream about a future with me. A future too good to be true. But you saw it in your heart. You saw something in me that was almost enough for you to defeat your fears.

Only now did I realize that, while we’ve been living separate lives for a long time now.

I was too busy with admiring you and the way you’re living life. We should’ve talked more about what inspired you, encouraged you and gave you hope. I don’t know if that would’ve changed something, but I would’ve taken the chance to tell you, how much you inspired me, how much your perspective of the world changed my way of thinking. I wish I could’ve convinced you, that you were an inspiration for me simply by being yourself. You never needed to be a star or an astronaut or something impressive, even though that was exactly what you thought. You impressed me with everything. As ordinary as it may have seemed to you.

I know you would never have believed me. But the truth is, we’re all affecting each other. We’re either disillusioning or inspiring each other. Encouraging or discouraging each other. We’re not just connected via social media.

Our words and our actions affect our surroundings every moment each day.

A child remembers broken promises, remembers, whether we’re crossing the street at green or red light. Someone recognizes that we’re not giving up that easy. Someone is astonished by our smile, even in hard times. Our colleagues may be inspired by our work ethic, or they’ll follow our example and will just as well do the bare minimum. The always friendly cleaning man who loves his job, because he is now working in a safe country and able to provide for his family is an inspiration.

What we say matters, what we do matters. At least for someone.

We all possess the power of inspiring people. It doesn’t matter how small and insignificant we may feel, we can always accomplish something, change something, inspire someone. At the end of the documentation The Last Dance about the six NBA championship titles of the Chicago Bulls back in the nineties, Michael Jordan says: It all started with hope.

That is all we need. We just need hope to not give up, to do the right thing, to be ourselves. Hope, that this is exactly what is inspiring someone down the road. Our story, starting with hope, can encourage someone, give hope and faith to whoever needs it.

So, I hope one day you’ll realize, how much of an inspiration you still are to me. I hope one day, you’ll see yourself with my eyes. And I hope I’m still inspiring you to dream of a better future.