This is an impossible question. I am inspired by people every day. “Inspire” is a rather over-used word though, isn’t it? I like the word “ignite” – light a spark, or perhaps, sow a seed. And there are different levels of inspiration.
Whichever way you like to look at it, though, there are all kinds of people who inspire me daily.
Young people (especially those in their 20s and 30s) who are doing their best to navigate these difficult times. Among these are: climate change activists like Vanessa Nakate, Greta Thunberg, and many others worldwide – including in Jamaica; volunteers in many different areas of society in Jamaica, including in the environment, youth empowerment, peace-building initiatives; entrepreneurs who have had the guts and imagination to establish business ventures in uncertain times and to go out on their own; brilliant young creatives like Jamaica’s Richard Nattoo, and more.
Elders who give of their expertise and experience generously, and whose words I absorb. I love The Elders – a group of former leaders (whose original membership included Nelson Mandela – whose visit to Jamaica I wrote about here – and Kofi Annan) who share their wisdom and comment on global issues. Here is their recent statement on the passing of Archbishop Desmond Tutu – certainly one of my heroes since my student days, when I supported the anti-apartheid movement. That glint in his eye was irresistible!
“A prisoner of hope” was one of Archbishop Tutu’s catch phrases. Speaking of hope, I received this book as a Christmas gift. Enter yet another of my inspirations, Dr. Jane Goodall:
People who are simply stubborn inspire me. Stubborn in a good way, sticking to what they believe in and care about, un-swerved by distractions or what Jamaicans love to call “the naysayers.” Here is another stubborn person (and another Christmas gift, this time to myself):
And most of all, Nature inspires me in a thousand ways, every day. A sparkle in the water is enough.