Despite my best efforts to turn everyone I met into a hero, people sensibly enough did not feel like playing the part thrust on them…Since others would not perform as I demanded or expected, I had to do it myself and act heroically. (Martha Gellhorn)
I started the year reading novels, but recently became addicted to reading biographies. It started when I was presented with a homework assignment to discover “what inspires me”. Two days later, I walked out of the World’s Biggest Bookstore with a Beatles piano book, a world travel guide, and a biography of Harry Belafonte (did you know he blinded himself with a pair of scissors when he was a child?).
There are many life stories out there in print, some more inspiring than others (Kardashian, anyone?). But the stories I find most compelling are those of people who, despite having incredible talent, intelligence or courage, seem to face the same personal insecurities and questions as the rest of us. Belafonte is not shy in his memoirs about admitting his lifelong work with a trusted therapist to deal with his emotional problems arising from childhood neglect. Churchill suffered his entire life from debilitating bouts of depression. Gellhorn was bullied as a child. Yet all of these heroic figures (at least to some) learned to deal with their insecurities and use their gifts to influence and change the world.
I was away from these parts of the interwebs for a very long time, and what I missed the most during my absence was the sharing of stories. To be sure, some blogs are the equivalent of a Kardashian memoir. But many are funny, poetic, charming, and yes, epic. We should not discount how much we all can inspire and learn from each other, every day.
You can always start by checking out some of the lovely people listed on the right hand side of this page. I guarantee you’ll find something there to inspire you.