You have always been an inspiration to me. If you, Dear Reader,
are blind, you probably have heard this many times. If you are sighted, you might have even said it to me. I hope that what I say next will not offend you, because I know you meant these words as a compliment. When I heard them spoken yesterday from a casual friend, I thought, Those words are hollow. How can I be an inspiration to someone who is doing nothing with her life? She claimed that she always admired how I never let anything stand in my way, that I always met challenges with a positive attitude, didnt feel sorry for myself, bla bla bla. This may or may not be true, but this woman is clinically depressed. Her poverty and her unemployment have paralyzed her. She wants a job that pays well enough to make up for losing her disability benefits, but she hasnt discovered her marketable skills. She has no college education, and her work experience is limited. She dwells on her grief for the loss of her mother, whom she has been dependent on for over 60 years. She has more problems than Ive mentioned, but you get the picture. You might know someone like her. How I would love to be able to help her, but I dont have the skills to show her how to pull herself out of this funk. If I am such an inspiration, why isnt she following my example and getting on with her life? Its one thing to admire someone, but the word inspire means to breathe in. If she cant breathe in the energy and the tenacity required to take some positive action, then I have not been an inspiration at all.The very definition of inspiration requires some action on your part. You cant just sit there, applaud, and then yawn. Id love it if I were truly an inspiration to this woman. But I cant be an inspiration unless she fills her words with truth.