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Who gives me inspiration? At the end of her presentation before Christmas, one of our prospective principals put up a picture of her 'ideal and inspiration', and I cringed inwardly, and possibly outwardly. It was Mother Teresa. And she spoke of her in the present tense. Okay, she's a great woman from which to draw inspiration and I offer her words to my students quite often. But if someone was going to be inspired in front of a dozen or so smart people who work in a Catholic high school, I expected something a little less trite and over-played. Every third student offers Mother Teresa in Year 11. The others choose Martin Luther King or Gandhi.
So much as I admire some of Mother T's words, I find inspiration in a few other people who offer me wisdom and compassion and a deep love of others, especially those in need. Yes, you get that from Mother T. - "Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love." "Live simply so others may simply live." She was an amazing woman.
But consider a few other less well-travelled roads, like Phil Gulley. His words strike a chord with me every time I read one of his 'sermons' or one of his novels, “We just never know. We think we do. We think we have life figured out, and in our arrogance we become hard. But life has a way of humbling us, of softening us.”. And one of ten new suggestions for a Christian church, "If the church were Christian, affirming our potential would be more important than condemning our brokenness."
Or Patch Adams - who could do more to reach out to people with love, so demonstrably - if you don't know Patch, watch Robin Williams bring him to life so beautifully in the movie. "You treat a disease, you win, you lose. You treat a person, I guarantee you, you'll win, no matter what the outcome."
Phil Gulley, minister and writer, wrote this week about how we don't know how our lives will turn out,
"When I was fourteen years old, I hated two things with a white hot intensity: going to church and writing papers. Make your plans, yes, but leave room for the movement of God in your life. Live, our Quaker ancestors said, as way opens. Live as way opens. Leave time and space for God to work."
And Patch, on being admonished by his Dean of studies,
Dean Walcott: ...you are not cut out to be a physician, and it is my responsibility...
Hunter Patch Adams: Responsibility? You have one responsibility: to be a dickhead. How hard can that be? All you have to do is make sure your head is a dick, and it's attached to your neck.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 10th, 2012 12:06 am (UTC)
Interesting choices! I shall have to think hard and get back to you about who I would 'claim'. I'm not sure about quotations though, because I'm fairly bad about remembering/re-finding them.

At the moment I'm at my brother-in-law's house snatching two minutes on the laptop before bedtime so I haven't time to think. Remind me!!
Jan. 11th, 2012 07:40 pm (UTC)
If you need quotations, just Google!! But quotes are not necessary, I just have them at hand so I can use them in the classroom - you know, like proof! And teenage girls love quotes!
Jan. 12th, 2012 10:49 pm (UTC)
Well, I love quotes too, so maybe I'm a teenager at heart! *g*

I came up with three writers who inspire me and the quotes I found (by googling, yes) are all ones I have had firmly in my mind for a long time.

J. R. R. Tolkien
British scholar & fantasy novelist (1892 - 1973)

"A dragon is no idle fancy. Even today (despite critics) you may find men not ignorant of tragic legend and history, who have heard of heroes and indeed seen them, who have yet been caught by the fascination of the worm."

"One writes such a story not out of the leaves of trees still to be observed, nor by means of botany and soil-science; but it grows like a seed in the dark out of the leaf-mould of mind: out of all that has been seen or thought or read, that has long ago been forgotten, descending into the deeps. No doubt there is much selection, as with a gardener: what one throws on one's personal compost-heap; and my mould is evidently made largely of linguistic matter." ~On the creation of LotR

"What really happens is that the story-maker proves a successful 'sub-creator'. He makes a Secondary World which your mind can enter. Inside it, what he relates is 'true': it accords with the laws of that world. You therefore believe it, while you are, as it were, inside. The moment disbelief arises, the spell is broken; the magic, or rather art, has failed. You are then out in the Primary World again, looking at the little abortive Secondary World from outside." .....
..... "Every writer making a secondary world wishes in some measure to be a real maker, or
hopes that he is drawing on reality: hopes that the peculiar quality of this secondary world (if not all the details) are derived from Reality, or are flowing into it." (sorry about the formatting of that one...)

"I cordially dislike allegory in all its manifestations, and always have done so since I grew old and wary enough to detect its presence. I much prefer history, true or feigned, with its varied applicability to the thought and experience of the reader. I think that many confuse 'applicability' with 'allegory'; but the one resides in the freedom of the reader, and the other in the purposed domination of the author."

Guy Gavriel Kay (Canadian fantasy author b.1954)

...it also needs to be remarked that sagas and idylls are constructed, that someone has composed their elements, selected and balanced them, bringing whatever art and inclination they have, as a offering.
(I have this as an animated icon.)

Robert Frost  - American poet (1874–1963).
17. In Neglect (published 1915)

THEY leave us so to the way we took,

As two in whom they were proved mistaken,

That we sit sometimes in the wayside nook,

With mischievous, vagrant, seraphic look,

And try if we cannot feel forsaken.

So my inspirations are literary - they inform my reading and things like art appreciation as well as my writing. Thanks for making me look them up - they are languishing in boxes somewhere, which is one of the problems of pre-internet storage!!

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )



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