Who Inspires You

24 Answers

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drmonica | (Level 2) Associate Educator

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My grandmother on my father's side is the person who inspired me more than anyone. She thought I could do no wrong, and I have taken the confidence she inspired in me throughout my life. I can remember her explaining to me why we made the beds first thing every day when I stayed at her house: "What if Jesus were to come visiting?" I hope to be the kind of grandmother to my future grandchildren that my Grandma was to me.

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ask996 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

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My three daughters inspire me because somehow, in this day and age, when girls are pulled a thousand different directions about who they are and who they should be—these young ladies have managed to find and retain their own true identities despire what everyone else is doing.

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hannahshychuk | College Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

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I think that a person needs grand idealized role models, as well as individuals whom one knows well in order to have a really constructive font of beneficial inspiration in life.

Along those lines, I have been inspired first and foremost by my family members, both in the way in which they carry themselves and in the way they have conducted themselves through a number of tragedies we have shared.

Beyond this, I have always been inspired by two great Americans: Ben Franklin and Abe Lincoln. Both were self-made men, great successes both publically and privately and men of more depth than the tycoon who comes from nothing.

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lrwilliams | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

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I would say that my grandfather most inspired me as I was growing up. He was a man who had gone through many struggles with his health from a relatively young age and continued to have a positive outlook on life.

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lynn30k | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

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I turned 12 in 1968, and went from an elementary school to a combination junior/senior high school. All of a sudden, I went from a protected, child-like existence to one in which the boys who were not going to college the next year were probably going to Vietnam. My inspiration was an entire generation of people 5-15 years older than myself, who were changing everything I saw around me--civil rights, women's rights, anti-war, and ecological awareness, all thrown at me at once. I changed into someone my parents did not know how to deal with at first, and it was definitely a good thing. Always question the status quo!

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I do not think any one person inspired me greatly.  My parents, of course, helped me want to make something of myself, but the did not inspire me in the sense that I looked at them and said "Because of you, I want to do X."

More recently, my children inspire me to want to be as good of a role model for them as I can possibly be.  At the moment, I think they are a major source of inspiration for me.

But overall, I get inspiration from a desire to be the best I can be, not from a desire to emulate someone else.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In searching for inspiration, I would pose that someone who inspires is someone who has the ability to articulate what can be as opposed to what is.  When I examine the figures of inspiration in my own life, I am struck by their ability to articulate and envision a world of what can be in contrast to what is.  I think that inspirational figures can expand an individual's moral imagination and capacity for what can be done.  For figures of inspiration, I would search for individuals like this, figures that can expand one's abilities and capacity for greatness in all forms.

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William Delaney | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Your question made me stop and think. I can't truthfully say that any live person ever inspired me, although there were a few tried to influence me, and a few who brought me down. I have been inspired throughout my life by great writers and great composers. I can still get inspired by reading passages from writers like Arthur Schopenhauer, Marcel Proust, Leo Tolstoy, Henry James, and William Faulkner. But I don't seem to feel much need for outside inspiration any more. I think your own unconscious can be the source of the greatest inspiration, whereas outsiders may only inspire you to imitate them.

It’s not when you realize that nothing can help you-religion, pride, anything—it’s when you realize that you don’t need any aid.

                                                               William Faulkner

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ssandhu05 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 2) Honors

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Maybe not for my entire life, but from some time a few years ago till now, an actor named Aamir Khan has inspired me a lot. The reasons being because he always wants to think outside the box, wow everyone with someone new, and most importantly send a message to the people. But he does this whenever he makes a movie, and maybe he tries to do in his regular life. I know it sounds a bit weird to say, but those are the three things that I feel are most inspiring. Instead of looking at what other people have done and try to semi-copy what they have done in their work, he makes something that is entirely original and worth seeing. And his works are pure art to me, and inspire me the most.

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thewanderlust878 | Student, College Freshman | (Level 3) Salutatorian

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I believe that, at a young age it is slightly more difficult to determine who or what has "inspired" you to do some of the things you do. I think that up until adulthood and slightly beyond an individual hasn't exactly discovered who they are or what they want to do yet. That being said, a young person can be inspired by others to become what they will become in the future. For me, I can definitely say women like Joan Jett and Pat Benatar have definitely inspired me. My ultimate goal is to be the lead guitarist for an internationally known band. Being female I don't see a whole of of famous female, electric guitar-playing musicians. Which is why Joan Jett inspires me most. 

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user396107 | (Level 2) Honors

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In my life my inspiration is drawn from my sports star Rodger Federer.  His composure on the tennis court is something I look up to.  He is also generous as he uses he career earnings to help disadvantaged people through his charity donations.  I hope one day to have the same generosity and composure as Rodger.  

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crystaltu001 | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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Those who have achieved their dreams through hard work inspire me to do my best because they have worked hard towards their goals and dreams and tried their best to be even only a little closer to their goals.

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taangerine | Student, Grade 12 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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My grandmother has inspired me in my life because she is always hardworking and kind. She always takes care of someone before herself. She is always there to talk to whenever you need it. When I grow older, I want to be just like her. 

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udonbutterfly | Student, College Freshman | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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The inspiration in my life has always been my mom. If anything I would love to grow up and become a mother like her. MY mom knows how to discuss difficult topics without making it awkward and she knows how to joke around with me and the rest of my siblings. My mom is really cool but she never lets us forget she is our parent as well as our best friend.

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hermy27 | Student, College Senior | (Level 1) Salutatorian

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If asked this question at a younger age I would say that my mother was main main inspiration.  I think that there is a common misconception regarding inspiration, in that while my mother was of course my role model and first teacher, she did not necessarily "inspire" me.  The definition of inspire is, "to fill with an animating, quickening, or exalting influence."  I never wrote a novel because of something she said or did to push me in that direction.  I was never driven to compose a song because she filled me with an exalting influence. 

Being asked this question now, I would say that I am inspired more by feelings and events than by any single person.  I am inspired by beautiful sunsets, overgrown canopies, and the process of childbirth.  I get inspired by the feelings of loss I experienced when my father suddenly passed away from leukemia, or by the memory of the first time I saw my newborn son's face.


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