Five Minute Friday: Inspire

Welcome to this week’s Five Minute Friday. Our instructions, via creator Kate Motaung: “Write for five minutes on the word of the week. This is meant to be a free write, which means: no editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation.” Today’s prompt: INSPIRE.

Five Minute Friday

My thoughts on inspiration tonight may be a bit on the “dark” side as opposed to the “shout it from the rooftops, I am so inspired by [identify inspirational person/thing/book/place/moment].”

It’s difficult to write about the specifics without revealing some fairly private musings and identifying the person involved.

There are inspirations in our family. People have overcome physical challenges. People have overcome the loss of siblings who, while not at all forgotten, do inspire us (or I guess I can only speak for me) to be better, to try not to leave important messages unsaid, to know tomorrow is never guaranteed.

There is one thread of inspiration running through our family’s story, and I now see that the way we have framed that may actually put one of the people at the center of the story in the most awkward of positions.

I don’t think that person wants to be the fulcrum on which our balance of inspirational material centers. I don’t know that an apology matters. I think they would understand why we framed things the way we did, why I personally blogged about it the way I did.

But I am left with the reminder that glorifying others, and telling them how inspirational they are, does not always make them feel good. Sometimes it creates more pressure than we intend.

I will think, harder, the next time I single someone out as an example, and try to be more sensitive to the way they process what I think is a positive. They may not want or need the attention. It may have the opposite effect of what I intend.

I do love a good inspirational story though!

Five Minute Friday

This post is part of the weekly Five Minute Friday linkup.

17 thoughts on “Five Minute Friday: Inspire

  1. I’ve always been cautious about writing about people I know and that know me. I never know who is going to read my blogs and try to privatize the people I mention. It is difficult to please myself with what I write if I have to constantly worry about what others will think or how they will interpret what I write. Thanks for sharing. #FMF #9.

    • Well – you have a point there. I can tend to get wrapped up in external validation (winning an award, getting mentioned, a plaque, certificate or whatever) but in the case of people who are dealing with the most difficult of things, I suspect sometimes a quiet, private “the way you are living your journey is teaching me lessons” may be the biggest reward of all.

  2. Wise words- so true that while we meant it as an encouragement when we say that someone inspires us we have to be careful that it’s not making them feel under pressure. Thanks for looking at a different aspect of this topic.

    • I think slowly may be the way to go with this one. I wish I could go into more detail — I know it’s a bit hard to do out of context. But the situation that caused me to feel this way has developed over YEARS (decades, really) and ties into how we treat people of different races of our own. This probably still doesn’t help but …. maybe it gives you some additional context.

  3. Very thought-provoking…as I would never want to create pressure – and I think all families have some similar thread of putting certain members in a higher place because we want to honor them…but then, perhaps, we make it difficult, even awkward for other members.

    • That’s it – family dynamics change – and especially when the person at the center of the inspirational theme grows from childhood to adulthood, people’s treatment of the story doesn’t always honor that, in my opinion. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. “But I am left with the reminder that glorifying others, and telling them how inspirational they are, does not always make them feel good. Sometimes it creates more pressure than we intend.”

    This is so true and something I have personal experience with. I live with chronic illness and there have been times when I’ve wanted to throw something at the people who tell me how great I am. I’m not great. I’m a person, just like everyone else. It’s a fine line to walk, balancing between encouraging someone who is struggling and making them feel like they can’t be real.

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