When was the last time you were inspired? I’m not talking about being moved, but being moved in such a way that you couldn’t help but to take action as a result. It probably doesn’t happen that often. In today’s frenetic world, we see a story on our FaceBook timeline that touches us, and yet a moment later, we are focused on something else; our attention spans have been divided in half so many times that where we once sat down to read a story in the paper, we now scroll through hundreds, even thousands of snippets of data, our minds spinning from activity, yet empty of meaningful content. Absorption and deep contemplation are increasingly rare, and inspiration is the wrapping more often than the contents in the box. We quickly admire or discard the flash and design, and rarely are we excited enough to examine the details. Instead, we mentally shake the package and move on to the next one. Every now and then we show the package to others; we share the post with our circles; we retweet the 140 characters; we tally up one more like. But we all know there is so much more.
It’s Christmas Eve. Many of you are spending time with family and friends, enjoying meals and libations, and reminiscing over the collective experiences you share with those you cherish most. I’m guessing that you might even slow down for a spell and enjoy these hours more than most of the hours that have raced by throughout the year.
For me, I’ve been involved in a project that has provided so much inspiration this year, and I have been moved in measurable ways as a result. I’ve been fortunate to have several amazing people take the wrapping off their story, open their minds and hearts, and allow me to examine the details inside. And I am inspired and moved.
Inspiration, whether in the form of a news flash, or a movie, or a headline, or a deeply personal exploration of someone’s life, is a tangible element in the holiday air, and I hope you are able to measure it for yourself in a way that guides you to take action.
If you find yourself in need, just take a deep breath, slow down, and look all around you. Perhaps you only need to look in the mirror.
(And if it’s inspirational movies you’re looking for, here’s a list of the AFI’s top 100: http://www.afi.com/100years/cheers.aspx)
In the meantime, here are a few movie quotes on the topic:
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Matthew Broderick in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
“You cannot live your life to please others. The choice must be yours.” Anne Hathaway in Alice in Wonderland
“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.” Ian McKellan in Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings
“Only if you find peace within yourself will you find true connection with others.” Julie Delpy in Before Sunrise