We all need a little inspiration at different points in our lives, to lift us up from routine, help us
meet life's challenges and push us toward our potential.
Inspiration can give us vision and open windows to new possibilities - what we can do with our lives and what we can do. It is a lens that transforms what we see in the mirror, in the face of another and our perspective of the future.
It can give us courage to persevere in the face of illness, misfortune, failure and loss, and to do what we know to be right.
What would life be without inspiration? It would be like childhood without magic, families without love, working without meaning and living without passion.
We'd be diminished by age with each passing year, surrender to chronic health conditions, be defeated by disability and leave this life with a whisper.
There would be no path to follow, no beacon to guide us, and no hope to climb higher or run faster.
There would be no reason to find that little extra within our hearts and give more of our selves to the rest of the world.
We are inspired by the actions and words of great leaders such as Abraham Lincoln (who said, "Don't worry when you are not recognized but strive to be worthy of recognition"), Gandhi ("Be the change you want to see in the world") and Churchill ("We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give").
Philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."
They remind us of the potential that lies within every human being: a moral core that through positive, compassionate action can make the world a better place. We each have the potential - and responsibility - to live beyond our own self-interests.
Elite athletes stretch the limits of the human body. Musicians and artists express our creative potential. Scientists and inventors surprise us with new therapies and technology. They shape the future.
They show us new possibilities.
But I have been most inspired by ordinary people who do extraordinary things.
In the face of adversity - personal loss, misfortune, abuse, poverty or disability - they have found the courage and strength to survive and thrive. When confronted with circumstances beyond their control and not what they had chosen, they recognize what they can control and choose to act positively.
I am inspired by those who have found within a wellspring of compassion. Living beyond self-interest, they see a need and they are moved to help.
On Saturday, Nov. 17, Century House in New Westminster will be celebrating Inspiration Day. Recharge your life with inspirational words, laughter yoga and live comedy. A $5 ticket covers refreshments and door prizes.
I'll be presenting the keynote, "Be Inspired . . . And Inspire Others: Achieving Our Positive Potential." For more information, contact Century House at 604-519-1066.
Dr. Davidicus Wong is a family physician and writer. You can read more about achieving your positive potential for health at davidicuswong.wordpress.com.