Lee’s List of People Who Inspireposted by Lee McKenzie
We all have people in our lives who inspire us. Some are famous individuals whose names and achievements are well known to everyone. Others may never have achieved fame, but still live their lives as outstanding role models. So who are these people? And what draws us to them?
Here’s my (partaial) list of inspirational people.
Albert Einstein—The iconic Nobel Prize-winning scientist and philosopher whose name has become with genius. People like to talk about six degrees of separation. In my case, it’s two. My first-year chemistry professor had the honor of meeting Einstein in the early ‘50s.
Charles Darwin—Another iconic figure and (dare I say it?) science geek. I have a fondness for them! In spite of a constant struggle with sea sickness, Darwin traveled around the world, making observations about biological and geological phenomena. Much of what we know today about the natural world is rooted in Darwin’s work.
Leonardo da Vinci—Okay, this is the last scientist. I promise! He makes my list because he was also a writer, an artist, an inventor. When I started graduate school, one of my professors stressed the importance of being aware that I was among a privileged group of people who were being given the luxury of being able to explore new ideas. I’ve never forgotten that. For me, da Vinci is the embodiment of a true explorer.
The people who built this. Nuff said.
Lucy Maude Montgomery—Author of the Anne of Green Gables series and numerous other works. It seems every generation or so, we discover an author whose voice has a connection that is universal and timeless. Anne of Green Gables was published in 1908—one hundred years ago! I’m just one of thousands who have read and reread these stories.
Nellie Furtado—I’ve never been one of the star-struck masses, and I’ve never met this young woman, but she is another example of two degrees of separation. When my son was in grade eight, he attended the same junior high as Nellie Furtado, who was a year or two ahead of him. He was shy, awkward and an easy mark for schoolyard bullies. She was confident, outgoing and not afraid to do the right thing. My son attended a welcome dance for grade eight students that year and when I asked him later if he danced with anyone, he told me that “one of the older girls” had asked him to dance. That “older girl” was Nellie Furtado. My son, who is now a talented musician in his own right, still jokingly refers to it as a pity dance. I still see this young woman as someone who’s able to look beyond herself and think of others—not because it’s good for her career, but simply because it’s good.
Hilda Ilvonen Barrie—My grandmother, and my life-long inspiration. A couple of years ago I wrote a Superheroine article about her for the Wet Noodle Posse ezine. You’ll find the article here.
Your list of inspirational people will be different from mine, but all these people—famous and not-so-famous—have one thing in common. They are thinkers, doers and achievers. They lead by example, not by instruction, and when the going gets tough, as it invariably does from time to time, we can look to them for the inspiration we need to keep going.
Until next time,
The Writer Side of Life