Sunday, August 18, 2013

Be A Muse, Inspire!

By Taylor Wilson

   It's a powerful word. In fact, it's up there atop my list of favorites, along with courage and create.
But back to inspire. It's something everyone can do. We can all do things that might inspire others. However, we seldom set that as a daily goal. Can you imagine if we were able to attack the day with the notion that, "Today, I am going to do something inspiring?"
   Can it be done day in, day out? If so, it's no easy task. Sometimes it is as songwriter Guy Clark says, "It's tough out there, a good muse is hard to find." Inspiration doesn't linger everywhere.
   But take heart, even though it isn't always hitting us all in the nose like oxygen. Inspiration can happen, and when it does...well, for lack of a better onomatopoeia, WOW! Maybe we need to be more aware? I'm certain we need to share it more. My guess is an inkling of inspiration--a small spark--in the right place, at the right time, could make all the difference in the world.
   You see, I'm a ponderer, good thing, 'cause I'm not much good at anything else. But as I do what I'm good at (pondering), I often wonder if one of the reasons we spin 'round on the famed 3rd, water-covered rock is not to do just that--inspire. Is it why we are here? (I am one of those that fails to believe we are here by accident. We are here for a reason, and just maybe that reason is to inspire someone else?)
   Stories of inspiration abound among us, and I have always thought they were worth collecting, me being an old journalist and all.
   For example:
   "On July 11th, 1936 at the Olympic Trials in New York City, famed Olympian Jesse Owens

breezed to victory in the 100 meter, the 200 meter and the long jump. The next day he met Babe Ruth at a dinner honoring the Olympic athletes. When Ruth asked Owens if he was going to win at the Olympics, Owens replied, 'I will try.'

  "The Bambino told The Buckeye Bullet, 'Everybody tries, I succeed. Why? Because I know I’m going to hit a home run just about every time I swing the bat. I’m surprised when I don’t. Because I know it, the pitchers, they know it too. KNOW, Jesse, that you will win!'"
Owens went on to Olympic fame...four gold medals in Berlin. Sure, he might have done it with or without The Babe's inspirational words, but who knows? I believe some inspiration was at work.
(Note, Star Wars fans, the similarity between what Ruth told Owens and a scene in one of the sci-fi films, the part where Yoda tells Luke, "Do or do not. There is no try!"

  The clip can make you wonder if the above story did not also inspire writer/producer George Lucas? Again, we are all linked, some philosophers say, and perhaps so are our inspirations, life lessons, and influences?)

   Again, inspiring others doesn't cost us anything. And too, it can be done by deeds as well as words or maybe, simply by a well-placed hint now and then.
   In his biography, Life, Rolling Stone guitarist Keith Richards tells of his grandfather, Gus's, inspirational influence.
  "...Gus was leading me subtly into getting interested in playing, rather than shoving something into

my hand and saying, 'It goes like this.' The guitar was totally out of reach. It was something you looked at, thought about, but never got your hands on. I'll never forget the guitar on top of his upright piano every time I would go visit, starting maybe from the age of five. I thought that was where the thing lived. I thought it was always there. And I just kept looking at it, and he didn't say anything, and a few years later I was still looking at it. 'Hey, when you get tall enough, you can have a go at it,' he said. I didn't find out until after he was dead that he only brought that out and put it up there when he knew I was coming to visit..." Richards wrote.

    Mortality belongs to all of us. Yet, still so many of us go to the grave having left not one ounce of inspiration behind.
   That's a shame.
   Inspire. It's a powerful word and an excellent goal for this day and all the days that follow.