Sometimes the Tee-shirt Gets It Wrong

Personal Note: As you may imagine, I am a serious lover of words. I've got so many of them crammed into my head-even some in other languages-I have no room in there for numbers. Numbers make me cry, and words make my soul sit up and take notice. So, it's really, really odd to me with all this wordage in my system I totally, totally suck at Scrabble. I can kick butt at Balderdash and no one has EVER taken me in Scattergories, but put the most classic, most famous, possibly simplest-form word board game in front of me and I can't win to save my soul. No kidding.

Now, about that slogan business . . .

The other day while I shopped for a few things for my oldest's birthday party (Go eight, baby!) I came across a tee-shirt printed with the admonition, Inspire Those You Love, which I find to be a lovely sentiment.

However, I feel it's rather easy to inspire those you love. You love them and therefore you are naturally inclined to want to be the best person you can for them. Wanting to inspire those you love isn't something you think about. Don't mistake me, I got what the tee-shirt meant. Yes, yes, be the kind of person your loved ones aspire to be like, the kind of person they are bursting with pride for. Certainly a beautiful goal and one we should all hope to reach. I'm all for it. I practice it myself. I've got an amazing, sometimes-jerk-but-always-just-what-I-need husband, and three indescribably cool sons, all totally individual to inspire. My oldest little beauty, Gabriel, is old enough and adult-in-a-child's-body enough to understand what it means that Mom is a 'writer', how it's important. He knows how much I like to read, and while he's a math person and reading comes slowly to him he still pushes on with it because he wants to make me proud and to be like me. Dear heaven, you don't know how much that swallows my heart whole.

So, understand I'm not downplaying inspiring those YOU love.

But I think it's just as important, neck and neck, with loving those you inspire.

I am more honored than I can ever describe to have people who test read for me, read my blog and get something helpful from it, to have young women (and yes, even a couple of young men), peers, others in this 'writer wannabe' boat, feel encouraged and take hope from my thoughts and scribblings. When my own faith falls short it's their hope for me that brings me back. I can't give up because what a horrible misuse of their belief in me would that be? Somehow, in ways too mind-blowing and obscure to understand I, stupid, boring, scared me, inspired them so how could I justify letting that inexplicable blessing fade away?

Nope. Can't. Because, you see, something in the transfer of hopes between us has done more than bond us as advisor and students. It has given me the most genuine of love for them. Like the love I have for my own children, who were born of my body, I have love for them, born of my passions.

Sometimes I forget why I wish on stars. They remind me.


SephirothsFlamedWing said...

Awww! Yay!

Michelle said...

That's really lovely.

Anonymous said...

I loved this. You inspired me :-)

Tricia (PJ)

Anonymous said...

I agree we need to love those we inspire before we can inspire them!

denise said...

Hey! I inspire strangers for a living! And I'm good at Scrabble and math! I feel awesome today!

By the way, Scrabble is all Permutations. That's why math people are good at it. It's too limiting for you.

I love the word susurrus.

Amethyst Greye Alexander said...

I always think of "sessura" when you mention that. It's a musical term for a timely pause. Or maybe a long pause. Either way, I really, really like it. I like them both, you caould have one followed by the other and it would be very pretty . . . or ominous, depending.

Also, look at you defending my Scrabble deficiencies!

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