This week, the nation was stunned by the verdict in the Casey Anthony trial. The jury decided that while many of them believe she is guilty, there simply wasn’t enough proof. Whether you think this is a success or a failure of our justice system, one thing is sure. People feel strongly about this trial. Many of us were drawn in; first from the headlines, then the nightly recap of the trial events, and finally the summations by the prosecutors and the defense team. I certainly was.
And overall, what I’m left with is a sense of frustration. We’ll never know the whole story, but it’s clear that Casey Anthony threw away her own life, regardless of what she did with her child’s life. Where does she go from here? She was 22 years old when her daughter died, when she made whatever bad decisions she made.
I don’t bring this up to raise sympathy for Casey, but to underscore what other people of that age, or even younger, are doing. Every week, I get inspired by the dancers on So You Think You Can Dance, who range from 18 to about 25. These young people pour their energy, skill, and emotions into perfecting their craft and growing as dancers. On The Glee Project, a group of 18-to-22 year olds strive to improve as singers and actors, to win a spot on the TV show Glee, which has an entire cast of young people. The hard work they go through is obvious, and inspiring. When you look at role models for the young, these are not bad places to look.
I look at my own children and am inspired. They all are working at making a place for themselves in the world, going to school, working at jobs, striving to find purpose that doesn’t include a Hot Body contest, stealing checks, or breaking into sheds and stealing gas cans.
I look at other young people I know – some already raising families of their own, trying to set good examples, denying themselves some of the ‘fun’ things in life in order to provide for their children. I take heart in all those young adults out there in the work world, whether running a cash register, washing cars, mowing lawns, taking my order in a restaurant, selling computers, working in offices and factories, earning their way in the world. Some of them work really long hours, and many combine their work with college classes. They inspire me. (And I was especially cheered and inspired by reading about Madeline Schulman who became the National Champion in Oral Interpretation of Literature at a national competition held in Washington, DC, over Memorial Day weekend. You see, she used a story of mine, After the Wink. Oh BOY, am I cheered and inspired!) http://newton.patch.com/articles/whiz-kid-newton-south-senior-wins-national-speech-and-acting-award
As I go forward with my blog, I want to write more about inspiration. Some people get it from their Bible. Some from self-help books, some from heroes or heroines. Sometimes we get inspired by nature or art, by something we’ve read or heard. Me, I get inspired by people, by seeing what people can do with their lives, no matter what obstacles might arise. I’m inspired by a sister who went through some really difficult health issues and kept herself upbeat and positive. I’m inspired by my fellow Toastmasters who work on improving their public speaking abilities. I’m inspired by the orange nail polish I’m wearing right now, flashing at me while I type. The color cheers me, and if something small like that can get me working, all the better.
Life can be full of inspiration, if you choose to look at it. With all the attention focused on a sad young lady this week, and the resulting sense of frustration many of us have, I hereby choose to focus on sources of inspiration, big and small. I hope you can do the same.
Question: What kinds of things inspire you? Has anything specific inspired you today and did it compel you to take some kind of action?