People are always asked what inspires them to do what they do. Well, today I thought I’ll give my answer to that question.
Let’s go back a few years: December 2015. I remember seeing this story in the news. It was reported that the Turkish President’s motorcade happened to cross a bridge on its way to a particular destination. This bridge was is an infamous suicide spot. So, Erdogan, the President of Turkey, was driving by with his security forces and everything when he sees a man about to step off the bridge and end his life. What does the President do? Well, he orders his motorcade to stop, gets out, and talks the man out of making this rash decision. Can you believe that? The President of a country did this. He talked a man off the ledge, made the man realize that sure times may seem tough now with nothing to live for, but he possess the most precious thing in the world: his life. And that is something not only worth living for, but also worth fighting for.
I believe, by doing that, the President didn’t just save one life, but he helped save the whole of humanity.
That singular act by a President, putting his business of running an entire country on hold just to save a life he couldn’t see wasted–that inspires me.
When a man agrees to be a stay-at-home father so that his wife can chase her dream career and be the breadwinner: it inspires me.
When prisoners of war are pardoned and returned to their countries and their families: it inspires me.
When people don’t blame all Muslims for one extremist group, when people don’t blame all white people for the KKK, when people don’t blame all Germans for Hitler: it inspires me.
When I read about a life-affirming weight-loss story, when I hear about a teenage Cancer-patient now in remission, when I hear about a law or medical student dropping out to pursue his dream of playing professional sport: it inspires me.
When I see a sunrise, a pregnant woman, a Paralympian, a wheelchair-bound basketball player: it inspires me.
When I see a boy with purple hair or a nose-ring, a girl with a half-shaved head, a plane flying in the sky, a piece of technology talking back to me: it inspires me.
When during a heated argument I can bring myself to calm down and concede even though I still believe I am right, when I am tempted do wrong thing and I am able to say no, and when things don’t go the way I wished they would go: I let it all inspire me.
So, what inspires me?
People do. Life does. Humanity inspires me to write. There is so much good in people. And yes with everything going on in the world it becomes easy to get too focused on all the negativity and see the world as this place driven by hate and fear and intolerance. But that other side is just so much more beautiful and so much more magnificent and so much more powerful that for me it can blot out everything else. If I ever feel down or lost or broken I just look around, and I’m fixed again. So just look around you.
That stranger on the bus who gives you his seat because you need it more than he does.
That stranger who lets you cut into the checkout line because you are really pressed for time.
That stranger in front of you who stays to hold the door open a bit longer so that you can get inside, too.
That stranger who lets you use their cell-phone because yours died and you need to make that urgent call.
That stranger who rushes to help you up after you tripped and fell down.
Inspiration is literally everywhere, in every thing. I believe you don’t have to go looking. I let anything I see push me, drive me, fuel me. It helps me write. And I just love it.
So, yeah. That’s my deal. My inspiration comes from everywhere. It comes from the world, from people, from you guys.
Tell me what inspires you to do what you do. Sound off in the comments. I want to hear it. I really do!
© Amaan Khan, February 15, 2016.