Going to have a difficult time with this. Not because there aren't inspiring people in my life, but because of my own mindset.
Comparing yourself to someone else can be inspiring - but it can also be devastating. Girls in particular, I think, often look at someone who is better looking, or better at doing something than they are, and rather than seeing something to aspire to, despair of ever improving their own lot at all.
And even if we do find someone who can inspire us, who we want to emulate, it can backfire...
A local quilt shop owner told the story of one of her customers who was enamored of the quilting style of a quilter who had won national prizes. This quilter had won the best of show prize at the most prestigious quilt show in the country, and all of her work is truly incredible. So the customer worked hard to learn her methods and styles, and started producing some wonderful work herself.
The customer entered one of those quilts in a show. She happened to be standing nearby when two women stopped to look at it. One said to the other, "Oh look! So-and-so-national-quilting-award-quilter has entered this show!".
Needless to say, the customer was angry and devastated.
The moral of the story? It's great to be inspired by someone, but be yourself.
This is a "list" challenge, so I must get off the soapbox and make an actual list, I suppose. Rather than calling people out by name, I'm going to list types, and let those who know me fill in the blanks for themselves.
- People who face permanent challenges in their lives (poverty, chronic illness, disability) yet take joy in living their lives without excuse.
- People who perform all tasks, large or small, with the greatest degree of excellence of which they are capable.
- People who are unfailingly kind to everyone they meet.
- People who can make others laugh without making jokes or telling stories at the expense of other people.
- People whose love for the Lord shines in everything they say or do.