Inspiration may boost our creativity and change our life. Inspiration is an unexpected rush of creativity that leads to new ideas and solutions. It ignites imagination and motivates us to attain our biggest aspirations. Philosophers, artists, and scientists have investigated these mysterious phenomena. Inspiration's Complexity Inspiration comes in many forms and unexpected locations. It affects every area of human existence throughout cultures and societies. Inspiration fuels advancement in the arts, sciences and personal and social transformation. Inspiration in Art (1.1) Inspiration rules art. It fuels creativity, creating stunning works that capture and move us. The spark fuels the creative process, turning a blank canvas into a colorful, textured masterpiece. Subsection 1.2: Literature's Inspiration Inspiration shapes stories and people in literature. The spark inspires authors to build rich stories and fascinating universes. A delayed train ride inspired J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series. The writer's muse whispers in their ear and gives their words life. Subsection 1.3: Music's Inspiration Inspiration also drives the music. The catalyst turns introductory notes into moving melodies and words. Beethoven's nature-inspired symphonies still thrill audiences decades later. Composers are guided by an invisible hand. Subsection 1.4: Science Needs Inspiration Inspiration matters even in science. It drives breakthroughs and inventions. Sir Isaac Newton's apple-induced gravity discovery shows how inspiration may lead to scientific achievements. Curious scientists question, investigate, and invent. Inspiration Psychology Understanding inspiration's psychology helps reveal how it affects our ideas and behaviors. Inspiration Science (2.1) Inspiration is a complicated psychological process. It requires a quick cognitive change that expands our horizons. Inspiration transforms ideas into novel solutions. It allows us to think creatively and view things differently. 2.2: Inspiration vs. Motivation Inspiration and motivation are related yet separate. Motivation drives us toward specific goals. Fuel helps us overcome challenges and endure. Inspiration comes from inside, ignited by passion or interest. 3: Inspiring Inspiration might occur suddenly, but we can foster it daily. Creating an inspiring atmosphere and adopting certain behaviors might help us have those unforgettable moments of insight and creativity. Subsection 3.1: Nature Inspiration Nature's beauty and complex patterns inspire. Nature inspires creativity, innovation, and new viewpoints. Nature has a way of touching our spirits and stimulating our ideas. It encourages artists, authors, and creatives with its beauty and wonder. 3.2: Inspiring Others Diversity inspires innovation. It fosters empathy and understanding by appreciating other views. The rich tapestry of cultural traditions, the inspiring stories of people who have overcome hardship, and the inventive ideas and practices of many communities inspire people and cultures. They challenge our beliefs and broaden our worldview. Finding Inspiration Everyday Daily life may inspire. Staying open to the world and finding significance in the mundane is crucial. The beauty and wonder of everyday life may inspire us, whether it's a cup of coffee, a child's giggle, or the sunset. Mindfulness and presence help us notice and be inspired by these times. 4: Inspiration's Effect Inspiration transforms people and society. Inspiration and Self-Development Inspiration can boost self-improvement. It can inspire self-improvement and excellence. Inspiring others can help us grow. It encourages us to dream big and attain our potential. 4.2: Leadership and Business Inspiration Leadership and business require inspiration. Inspirational leaders inspire their people to perform well, creating a good and productive workplace. Companies that draw inspiration from their goal and values may generate unique goods and services that customers love. The hidden element may make a decent leader or company outstanding and boost growth. Subsection 4.3: Inspiration as Social Change Catalyst Inspiration also changes society. It may fuel social movements and humanitarian initiatives and motivate people to improve the world. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Civil Rights Movement speeches and Malala Yousafzai's fight for girls' education were inspired. It inspires us to fight for our beliefs and change the world. Inspiration Lasts Inspiration sparks creativity, innovation, and life change. Push may expand our horizons in art, literature, music, science, and life. Understanding and using inspiration may improve our lives and the planet. Inspiration comes from nature's beauty, people's tales, art, literature, music, and science and technology's breakthroughs. It reminds us of beauty, wonder, and promise. It's a call to explore, create, invent, push limits, and achieve greatness.
As the world struggled with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there were many stories of despair and hardship. People lost their jobs, their loved ones, and their sense of security. But amid all the chaos and uncertainty, there were also stories of hope, resilience, and kindness. One such story was that of Emma, a nurse who had been working on the frontlines of the pandemic since it began. She had seen firsthand the toll the virus was taking on people's lives, and she was determined to do what she could to make a difference. Emma worked long hours at the hospital, often going days without rest. She saw patients of all ages, from newborns to the elderly, and she did her best to provide them with the care and compassion they needed. Despite the challenges she faced, Emma never lost her sense of purpose or her dedication to her patients. One day, as Emma was finishing her shift, she received a call from her sister. Her sister, who lived in another city, had just given birth to a baby girl. Emma was thrilled to hear the news and couldn't wait to meet her new niece. However, with travel restrictions in place due to the pandemic, Emma wasn't sure if she would be able to visit her sister and her new niece. She felt a pang of sadness at the thought of missing out on such an important moment in her family's life. But then something amazing happened. When Emma's colleagues at the hospital heard about her situation, they rallied around her. They came up with a plan to cover her shifts for the next few days so that she could take some time off to visit her sister and her new niece. Emma was overwhelmed by their kindness and generosity. She had always known that her colleagues were dedicated and caring, but this was something else entirely. It was a reminder that, even in the darkest of times, there were still people who were willing to go above and beyond to help others. With tears in her eyes, Emma packed her bags and headed off to see her sister and her new niece. When she arrived, she was greeted with hugs and smiles and the sweet scent of her new niece. She spent the next few days with her family, holding the baby, laughing with her sister, and taking long walks in the fresh air. As she made her way back to the hospital a few days later, Emma felt renewed and re-energized. She knew that there were still many challenges ahead, but she also knew that she wasn't alone. She had her colleagues, her family, and a newfound sense of hope to carry her forward. From that day on, Emma made a point of looking for the bright spots in each day. She smiled more often, laughed more freely, and took the time to appreciate the little things in life. And as she continued to work on the frontlines of the pandemic, she knew that she was making a difference – not just in the lives of her patients, but in her own life as well.
Once upon a time, there was a young woman named Sarah. She had always dreamed of becoming a successful businesswoman, but she knew it would take more than just hard work and determination to make her dream a reality. She would have to move mountains to get what she wanted. Sarah grew up in a small town where opportunities were few and far between. Her family didn't have the means to support her education or her career aspirations, so she had to figure out a way to make it on her own. She worked tirelessly at her part-time job, saving every penny she could, and studying business in her spare time. Despite her hard work and dedication, Sarah faced many obstacles on her journey. She was constantly told that she couldn't do it, that she wasn't smart enough or talented enough to make it in the business world. But Sarah refused to let anyone's negativity bring her down. The first mountain Sarah had to move was getting a college education. Her family couldn't afford to send her to college, and she didn't have the grades or test scores to qualify for scholarships. But Sarah was determined. She took out student loans, worked multiple jobs, and even took classes at night to make it happen. It was a grueling and difficult process, but Sarah finally graduated with a degree in business. Next, Sarah had to find a job in her field. She applied to countless companies, but was met with rejection after rejection. She was told that she was overqualified, underqualified, or just not the right fit. But Sarah didn't give up. She took on any job she could find, from waiting tables to working in retail, all the while networking and building connections in the business world. Finally, Sarah landed an entry-level position at a small marketing firm. She worked tirelessly, going above and beyond her job duties, and quickly moved up the ranks. But even with her success, Sarah still felt like she wasn't reaching her full potential. She knew she had bigger ideas and bigger plans, but she didn't know how to make them happen. That's when Sarah decided to start her own business. It was a daunting task, and many of her friends and family told her she was crazy for even considering it. But Sarah was determined. She spent every spare moment researching and planning, and finally, she had a solid business plan in place. The next mountain Sarah had to move was finding funding for her business. She applied for loans, but was denied again and again. Banks and investors didn't believe in her idea or her ability to run a successful business. But Sarah didn't let that stop her. She reached out to her network, and eventually, she found a group of investors who believed in her vision. With funding secured, Sarah was finally able to launch her business. It wasn't easy, and there were many times when she wanted to give up. But Sarah's determination and hard work paid off. Her business was a success, and it quickly grew into a thriving company. Years went by and Sarah's company had become one of the most successful in the industry. She had finally accomplished her dream and had moved all the mountains that stood in her way. But Sarah didn't rest on her laurels. She knew that there were always more mountains to move, and she was ready for whatever challenges came her way. Sarah's story is an inspiration to many, proving that with hard work, determination and a never give up attitude, anyone can move mountains and achieve their dreams.
To Biopage contest THE PURPLE BIKE By Penny Robichaux-Koontz As told to H L Ford I had just taken over a condemned property in Texas, a homeless shelter in a rural area, pitch-black at night except for the light from a lonely, passing train. I had 42 youngsters and 30 adults staying with me in our shelter and no money. The only ornaments for the tree were those I had collected for my own children over the years until this year, 1991. As we were putting the tree up, the children were grumbling. “Miss Penny, how is Santa ever gonna find us out here in the dark?” I encouraged them to sing carols loudly when we heard a knock at the door. There stood the jolly old elf himself, Santa, in full red velvet and white fur trim. The children's eyes widened. I could have heard a snowflake drop. Santa leaned over to whisper, “I'm on my way to a Christmas party and heard you may need a Santa tonight.” “Thanks,” I answered in grateful amazement. He took a seat and talked with the children. Then, laying a finger aside of his nose, up the chimney he did not go but left through the door leaving big smiles behind him. I was delighted; however, as they shared the excitement of Santa's visit, to my dismay, I learned each child had asked Santa for a bike. Suddenly, the magic was gone and the reality of needing 42 bicycles settled on me. “How Lord, will I ever get that many bikes when just getting enough food is stretching my faith?” Articles appeared in the local paper, and people began to visit our shelter. They brought sweatshirts, warm clothing, blankets, and supplies. The word about our needs spread throughout the community. And yes! The bikes also started coming. We stored them in the secret workshop, where we assembled the new bikes at night while the children slept. Christmas morning came and the paper and ribbon flew amid laughter, singing, and a few tears of joy. And oh, the bikes…bikes everywhere! Emotionally spent and tired from playing Santa's helper all night, I headed outdoors to go to my room when I heard a child running behind me, calling “Miss Penny, Miss Penny!" Cedric, a precious little five-year-old boy caught up, his cheeks streaked with tears. I got down on my knees. “Why are you crying, honey?” “Miss Penny, I didn't git me no bike!” Dismayed, I thought, how could we have been off by one bike?! Thinking quickly, I said, “Cedric, did you ask Jesus for a bike?” “No, Miss Penny. I asked Santa Claus.” “Well, that explains it,” I said. “Santa is only a one- Day-a-year wonder. But Jesus, He is our Gift from heaven and He is also our gift-giver, not just one time a year, but today and every day. He loves you and hears you when you pray. You know He is the reason we celebrate this day, so let's talk to Him." With that, Cedric made quite a noisy plea to Jesus for a purple bike someday soon. “Amen!” Struggling to get up off my knees, I saw a pickup truck coming up the dirt drive toward us. The driver pulled to a halt, throwing Texas dust all around. “Are you Miss Penny?” he asked, stepping out of the cab. “That's me,” I said, “Can I help you?” “I'm sorry to be so late. My wife and I planned to be here yesterday,” he said while lifting a bike out of the truck bed. He placed a purple two-wheeler on the drive right in front of Cedric, whose eyes widened with amazement. “Hope you can use a bike like this. Sorry, I was late,” he grinned. I never got the name of that man. A great woman of faith that I am, I stood there speechless as I watched God make Himself absolutely real to a very excited little boy. That moment is as fresh in my heart and mind today as it was that 1991 Christmas. I had only been out of the wheelchair a short time then and had wanted to say "thank you, Lord" for healing my body from the paralysis of childhood polio. From that moment I was on my way to faith adventures with thousands more children over the years who came and went from Jacob's House a home for children in need of rescue. Like little Cedric, I was also on my way to many more miracles as I watched these children grow. Penny Roubichaus-Koontz has now retired from ministering at Jacob's House, but she never tires of sharing her faith, her joy, and her stories of God's children.
If a man is to shed the light of the sun upon other men, he must first of all have it within himself. – Romain Rolland Because of a rare but serious illness, I had to stay home for nearly a year… In the half-dreaming, half-awake haze of my illness, I saw black and white architecture outlining a Chinese ink wash painting, rendered layer by layer. Loneliness and the fear of the future, at times hesitant, at times plaintive, but always restless inside of me, drove my mood into a deep trough. The days of recuperation in my hometown were more difficult to bear than the days in the hospital. Only my grandpa and his flute accompanied me throughout those miserable days. Every dawn, Grandpa sat near me, and the crisp sound of his flute woke me gradually from sleep like a silver bell. I rose slowly and pushed the wooden window open, letting the breeze of the wind gently stir his face. The leaves outside rustled in the wind, as if they were accompaniment for Grandpa's music. The golden line of the sun sprinkled through the morning fog, giving the cold body some warmth. Looking over, I saw that Grandpa's arms had opened like a soft, beautiful arc. His fingertips danced on the bamboo cylinder, and his lips nearly kissed the flute's opening. Instantly, the clear and robust notes sounded and filled every corner of the room. The melody expanded and collided with the surrounding eaves, rocks, flowers, and trees, reverberating and revealing its boldness. One day, I told Grandpa the confusion in my heart. “Shouldn't the music of the flute be melodious, soothing, and soft? Why can't I find the sweet tone in your music, instead of such a vigorous feeling?” Grandpa didn't answer. He just silently lifted the flute again, placed it on his lips. Breathed in, breathed out… The sun was already high. The sunlight pierced through the accumulated smog in the dawn like a sharp sword. I felt shrouded by a near holy light, from the deep soul of the inquiry. A gentle smile floated on the corner of Grandpa's mouth. He said quietly, “Beethoven once said that ‘music is the one incorporeal entrance into the higher world of knowledge which comprehends mankind but which mankind cannot comprehend.' Different people playing the flute will use it to give different interpretations of life.” Then Grandpa shrugged; although he was in his 70s, he showed that the vicissitudes left by the erosion of time couldn't stop the breath of life in him. He said to me, “Grandpa wants you to know, how can there be no hardships in one's life? Plain sailing is just a wish. We must carry our load honorably before fate's final curtain.” Then, I remembered stories told and read about my grandpa. Back in the days of the cultural revolution, when he was in his twenties, he endured, bore, and withstood pain. He had attended Tsinghua University. Then, because the area was invaded by Japan, three schools (Peking University, Tsinghua University, and Nankai University) moved to Yunnan and became a combined school called Xi'an Union University. When Grandpa arrived, there was absolutely nothing of use. The students started constructing and building the classrooms themselves. For food, they were self-sufficient, and ate the food they grew. After finishing school, he joined the army, fought in campaigns, and participated in reform movements. Wars, turmoil, upheavals, crusades, disasters, revolutions, reformations… He had completely undergone that era. He suffered from but weathered the misery, tribulation and distress. If he hadn't, there wouldn't be my father and me, nor the peaceful dwellings for my family and the work sufficient to sustain us. He experienced the unrest and left us with the most glorious homeland. And how did he stand the agony? Just by the way he reacted to life. He always had rays of sunlight inside himself, and was willing to shed the light on others. I felt in my soul a deep stirring toward life. Maybe I could be more optimistic about my life and my future. Maybe the sound of Grandpa's flute had opened my mind and my heart. I thought back to the story of Beethoven, one of my heroes. In 1827, as the storm and lightning accompanied each other, Beethoven, at death's door, raised his dry arms and waved to the sky as a final struggle. The moment his life ended, it had an ultimate meaning: he didn't just wait for the Reaper's scythe to fall; he showed that the battle goes on as long as the heart is beating. In that moment of my reverie, the image of Beethoven's arm hitting the keyboard of the piano suddenly coincided with the sound of Grandpa's flute, and I realized that if you go through enough oceans and seas, you will never be afraid of streams and rivers. Grandpa's flute inspired me to keep going. To cease to struggle means you cease to live. Even when occasionally challenged by fate, keep in mind that the rays of the morning sun can break through the darkness; remember to say to Fate, “So what?”
Old man James sat in front of his porch as the sun caressed his harsh features. His face was relaxed- a rarity indeed, considering he always has a frown etched on his dark face. On Sunday afternoons like this, when all the folks were in church, he sat outside exuding a moment of serenity, like now. I almost gave in to the urge to take a picture commemorating oldman James's first smile in decades. Almost. Consequently, the chattering of people permeated the solemn atmosphere, effectively putting to death old man James' peaceful aura. Kickstarting his feet to life, he stood, grunted a good afternoon to me (much to my surprise since he'd effectively ignored me for the two and half hours I'd been staring at him- or maybe four hours, anyways-), he adjusted His brownish-whatever-coloured cap on his thinned hair and entered his salon before anyone could shout "Old man James". He doesn't look as old as his name implies, however, his never-smile-till-I-die demeanor added a decade to his 50ish self. On the flip side, not many could mess with old man James. I mean, his cold demeanor could give anyone a brain freeze. That, however, doesn't stop the people of Achimota from giving him names. A little payback for all the times he'd declined their festive dinner invitations, or their housewarming parties- which is everytime. So, behind closed doors, he's known as 'memuna' (always frowning), kakai (beast), James Debond (don't ask) among many other derogatory names- by kids and adults alike. I also didn't like him at first. Don't get me wrong but he is rude and scary. The last time, for instance, he'd sacked his client for crying too much and snotting in his shop. The client was two years old and it was raining heavily outside. Both mother and child would have been drenched if my mom hadn't let them in her shop. So yeah, Old man James has a terrible rep. However, hearing his life story from the town's Wikipedia, which is my mother, and writing it down, put things in perspective. Apparently, there was a time Old man James smiled. Believe it or not, he even laughed. Yep. Teeth and all. That was eleven years ago, before he lost his wife in a car accident. According to my mom, it broke him so bad he moved out of their town house in the estate-y side of Achimota, into his barber salon. It finally explains how he manages to keep up with his rent even though few people frequent his shop. Apparently, he's loaded. Anyways, sitting here side by side with Old man James' as he narrates his tragedy, in a voice with more than just coldness in it, will forever be one of my dearest moments in life. It's a shame you think I'd tell the most vulnerable parts of a person's life without said person's clarification. However, It's more shameful that no words can accurately describe the pain, longing, misery and regret running across his features. Apparently, 20th July, was his wife's eleventh year anniversary and he needed someone to talk to. Guess who played incompetent therapist to the melancholic old man James, this girl! For accuracy sake, let's ignore the "he needed someone to talk to" part. This is how the session began Me (suspiciously cheerful): Good morning Mr James Old man James (eyes narrowed in suspicion): *grunts* Me: How are you doing today Old man James: *less enthusiastic grunts* Me( still with a huge smile): Is it me or you sound...sad? As our elders say, happiness is the uhm... antidote for the uhm.. .heart but sadness...sadness is veeery bad, like terrible, you- Old man James (with a heavy sigh and wistful voice): I see your mother told you.. Me (with a heavily dumbfounded face because that's the longest sentence Old man James has ever said to me): Uhh
In this time of stress and laziness I want to deliver inspiration through this short story of mine to all those young students who are determined to put their minds to work to unravel the mysteries of the Universe around them. If an archaeologist spends his entire life studying a piece of land, he studies every piece of rock on it, and he does this with such dedication that he leaves all of the luxuries of life for it, his family, his friends, even his favorite food, just for the sake of scientific inquiry, to increase human knowledge, to fill the missing gaps in our understanding of our universe around us. And in doing so he losses 60 years of his life, and by the end of his career he discovers nothing! Nothing of any significance, every rock he has flipped tells him nothing, the decades he spends reading, writing, contemplating, leads to nothing. If this was the case for any other profession, his career would be considered a failed one. But not for him, he is a scientist! He has provided the most valuable service to the society of all. His work will build the foundation for a younger generation, they will not spend years trying to collect data he has already provided, nor try to prove or disprove something his work has already established rather they will venture forward into more uncertain areas of work. The same is true for every scientist in every field of work. Because “A SCIENTIST WORK NEVER GOES TO WASTE”, it either proofs something or proofs something. And that's meaningful to me, this makes me fearless of failure.
Where should I even start? I honestly don't know. It is not easy to put all the emotions, thoughts, worries and reactions I've had in the latest months into a couple of sentences. I guess it would be fair to say that this whole year was a mess and is still showing us how it is different (chaotic) than other years in the weirdest ways possible. I have always been an introvert, spending majority of my time at home is not a problem for me like it is for some people. However, during the first weeks of quarantine, it has been a complete disaster for me and I felt so bad because of many reasons. First of all, I realized that it is much more different than staying at home by your own choice and since you're not allowed to go out it simply puts more pressure on you. Also the ambiguity of the situation and the disease causing many deaths all around the world have made me worried like the rest of the people. I couldn't find the energy to do ‘productive' things and use the quarantine time efficiently like all influencers on social media have promoted. The ‘look on the bright side' motto hasn't worked out for me, especially in the beginning. I needed to sit down and feel whatever I had to feel without suppressing any emotion because acting like nothing has changed could have made me go insane. Talking to my friends and family members really helped me to rearrange my mindset, at least I've known that I wasn't alone and sharing experiences and thoughts made me feel a bit better. Not checking up on news every single day has helped me too because I knew that there is nothing I can do to end the pandemic, only things I can do are taking precautions, following the community health laws and boosting immune system by consuming healthy. After getting over the first weeks, I became more used to the situation and surprisingly okay with the fact that I haven't seen any of my friends since march. Even though the quarantine process is not as strict as it was before, I still think it's necessary to stay inside or go to more isolated places since the pandemic is not over (while wearing mask of course). I was missing my friends so much at first, I still miss them but right now I'm okay with being alone and not going out. Maybe this has something to do with my personality, I like spending time by myself, but I also feel like I found my inner peace and let go of trying to control what's happening around me. I can't change certain things so why not adopt to them in my own way? Not by other people telling me how should I spend my spare time and be ‘productive', but by freeing myself to do whatever I want I slightly become happier each day. Although I still have bad days and get moody sometimes, I am pleased with the way I chose to get through these days. I read, I listen to music that I like, watch videos and chat with friends, distance myself from all the toxic contents. I also stopped comparing what I do to other people's activities and their way of handling things since everyone copes with issues differently. This gave me such a relief, that I don't have to please anyone and don't have to be ‘ideal', and allowed me to enjoy my time more. During this process, I also noticed that we have lots of things to be grateful for yet we don't express our gratitude enough. Social interactions, going to a place without considering safety risks, school experiences, clean and fresh air,… most importantly health. Not going to mention how earth cleaned itself a bit, air and water pollution has decreased as seen in photos, with most of the human population staying inside the nature has popped its beauty out. Even a lot of people prefer not to care, the world doesn't only belong to us and we share our home with other species. This means we are responsible for the damage we cause and should consider the outcomes of our actions more. Not just specifically from the environmental aspect, but the social and cultural aspect too. Rather than spreading hate and being discriminative, we should aspire to be more embracing and kind because this pandemic also showed we need each other more than we thought. If we fill ourselves with love and treat people with the love we carry inside, it will spread across communities and without even noticing we may inspire lots of people and contribute to well-being of earth both physically and socially. As cliche as it sounds, it is so accurate that we can be the change we want to see in the world by altering our behaviours.
I remember taking a walk one day and seeing two young people, probably teenagers, sitting on a bench in the beautiful forest, gracefully touched by the sun. They were staring down at their smartphones. Internally, I judged them pretty hard. “Why would anyone spend time in nature just to stare at a screen?” I thought. This memory came to mind as I caught myself sitting outside during my 15 minute work break, eyes glued to my own cellular device. I stopped myself. For once, I decided to look around, to take in the present moment. Sure, I wasn't surrounded by beautiful nature, but it was still a chance to breathe in some fresh air - and more serene than inside my workplace. I realized I never paid attention to the sizes of the trees to the not-so-distant right -or the fact that one tree is shaped like a heart- even though work is somewhere I go every weekday, and my car is always parked by the same tree. Normally my 15 minute breaks seem to go by in an instant, barely giving me enough time to reply to a few texts. What gives? However, the end of this particular break felt as if I had just finished meditating. It turns out meditating doesn't always mean sitting in a special posture on a meditation cushion, breathing rhythmically or going “ohm”. And I needed this. Lately, I sense that time is slipping away from me, that somehow I slipped up and hit the fast forward button, failing to find the right button. Sometimes I wish I could press pause – sometimes I miss quarantine. When my complaints ebb and flow, I remind myself that I'm happy to have a job. Yet, sometimes the complaints come knocking at my door like an uninvited salesman. They say that there's no time to write. I make up for it by writing in my head at work. You know how they say the best ideas come when you least expect them? Well, in my experience, I would tweak this quote by saying, “the best ideas come when it's least convenient”. The other day at work, doing monotonous tasks, a beautifully scripted poem splashed in my mind like red wine on carpet. Since I was wearing lab gloves and had just touched tubes of bodily fluids, it wasn't the time to write. And when it is the time to write… Coffee ready, candle lit, I write and write until mere moments later I have a fresh poem??? I wish. Instead, I have nothing. NOTHING. My ideas have vanished. Maybe I'm too distracted by my phone. Maybe I just put too much pressure on myself. Probably both. With a job, my available time has become sacred, so whenever I sit down to write I have an expectation to create something worthwhile. Although, I know very well that the best ideas aren't forced, but the opposite. What even is my problem anyway? I can barely put it into words, other than stating that the working world has left me feeling cluttered. Why did nobody tell me that life after college is so hard? I wonder. Maybe this is what people mean when they refer to pursuing a career as the “real world”. Sadly, the real world has made me antisocial. I wasn't always like this. I went through a phase the beginning of 2019 where I hung out with people about every other night, and during this time I was thriving. I felt like I was on top of the world. Of course, I had the time for this because I decided to take a gap year after college to be an Au Pair as a nice adventure, or so I thought. My host mom ended up getting frustrated with me because I was going out so many nights. “We've never had an Au Pair that went out so much!” she told me. I took this to mean that she discouraged social Au Pairs because this meant less attention for her kids, or maybe she just wasn't used to having Au Pairs that made friends so quickly and didn't know what to think of it. The whole Au Pair adventure didn't last long and my little social circle I had built went crumbling along with it. I guess you can't have too much of a good thing, or really there's just not enough time for it. There wasn't enough time to upkeep my socially ideal self because consequently this meant I wasn't committing enough of my energy to my responsibilities. Not enough time. What a slap in the face that realization was back then, especially since I hoped working as a babysitter/ housekeeper in another country would've been easy, flexible, and fun. Nope. Also, there were some communication issues too, but that's another story. Now, I should go because I have stuff to do, like laundry. The reason for writing today was just to prove that there IS time to write. I need to stop making excuses, because writers don't make excuses. They write!
There is a doctor's place next door from my place. Although for many of us, this time of pandemic is just quarantine life time, but for a doctor and other workers it is a time of hardship. It was during the first on set of virus , when hospitals were not even taking in any patients, and many hospital emergency services were closed. This doctor didn't even think for himself, and the virus infection risk he could be exposed to and started treating patients from his own clinic. He was rendering emergency services all for free. Several lives were saved at such time. Sitting in my room, I would see him leave everyday in his car. He could have easily remained at his home with his family in quarantine life, but he did his part like a duty. Although he did such great work, people in the neighborhood were kind of ignoring him. People were mostly scared from chances of getting infected from a potential person but they would not even look at him or wave to him. I could see he felt disheartened by that. When I went to talk to him about neighbors being so rude to him and ignoring him. He would laughingly say,” These people they aren't bad, they are afraid, that's it. They are trying to protect themselves and their family and that is the right thing. Don't worry for me.” It was then few days later, he was tested corona positive. He had mild symptoms and recovered after two weeks. After recovery, without giving a second thought he again got up for his task(Even though we tried to talk him out of it). He said that he knew his life could be at stake from the very day he decided to become a doctor. Then, a month later he died. The reason of death being severe respiratory illness which might have been caused by corona virus reinfection from other source or maybe we don't know. But this person died a hero. Such a selfless act. The bravery he showed during such period of crisis and terror, he is a character to salute. He touched many people's lives. He is now the inspiration for me and the people from the community. Being inspired by his acts, we built a place for isolation and quarantine in our community with the permission from the state. Since, many people are living in rented houses, the place served many people for isolation purpose. During this passive time, the single work we did gave us satisfaction to contribute. Even around each of us there are people doing the good work day and night. We need to admire and learn from them. Although, as an individual we can't stop this pandemic but we can fight it. It could be by directly helping infected ones, or even a few good words to them can boost their morale. So, this pandemic stay home be safe , but better than that build the safety by your deeds. Don't just do nothing...
It's the 3rd of February, the world's at its best pace. I'm on my terrace, walking, thinking, dreaming. The sky looks beautiful in its deep blue. The orange sun is yet to set. I start browsing, I witness a myriad of vacant rooftops and just one or two human figures, either in search for a dependable cell phone network or peace. I come here for the latter. My father is a social worker, he has devoted his life to service. While I was in school, I wouldn't see him for days, even if he was still in town, by the time he'd come I was mostly asleep and by the time he was up, I was in school. My sister is completing her studies in a different state, I don't even remember the last time I talked to her for more than five minutes. My mother is a homemaker, but she's barely home probably because she's a "social person" and when she is home, I either have an assignment to complete or some place to visit. It's been ages since I've had a proper conversation with any of them, or since the four of us sat together talking about the good times and amusing. My family is just one of the thousands of things that pop up in my head while I'm up here. I walk further to the edge of the terrace, I bend slightly to get a peek of what's going on in the world below. I discover a bevy of kids playing soccer, people wrapping up their days, cars honking moving around in a rush, a couple walking hand in hand, a small time grocer trying to desperately sell literally everything he has to a single customer. I see the kids again, this time half of them celebrating their victory by hugging each other and laughing in delight. Besides them, I see two women, probably neighbors, fighting and abusing each other with complete vigor. One of them is now looking skywards and yelling some terrible words, I wonder who she's shouting at, there's nobody up here except me. Oops, I better get back to my walk. So basically today looks just like any other day! Now let's fast forward a little to when a pandemic took over our lives and everything just flipped. It's the 26th of march today. A few days back our Prime Minister announced a complete lockdown in our country. I still come up here, on the terrace, but it's an entirely different sight nowadays. The sky is still in its deep blue, I still hear noises, but this time not of the cars honking, today I hear the sounds of humans, a lot of humans, to be fair. The rooftops that once never showed signs of life, now look like a carnival, only a socially distanced one though. On any other day I would've been slightly disconcerted by the fact that the only place I turned to for peace had transformed into some kind of playground filled with people. But not today, and to be honest I actually feel delighted, because I don't just see individuals, I see families, families that have probably laughed together for the first time since ages, families that have conversed with each other as a whole, families that held hands like there's no tomorrow. Even I am not alone today, I'm walking alongside my father, talking about things we never thought we'd ever talk about, discovering interests, we never knew we had in common, exploring my plans for the future that I never thought would fascinate him. A few feet apart, I see my sister and my mother sitting together and laughing about how terrible my sister had cooked last night, and surfing for new recipes on the internet for my father who's next in line to cook dinner, and it's not just the four of us, I see joy and happiness all around me. Funny, isn't it? The times that are the hardest, are the times I am surrounded only by felicity. My father went and sat next to the mother-daughter duo, gesturing me to join, I tell him I'll be there in a minute. I would've just gone and sat with my family, but I'm so amused by looking at everything around me, that I was tempted to uncover this new world. I see a young couple teaching their toddlers badminton, I see a mother teaching her kid to ride a bicycle next to her husband who was listening to his daughter explain some features about the laptop, I also see the neighbors who once used to come to blows quite often, today sit on their respective balconies, chattering. I smile to myself and go sit with my family. People feel that the pandemic somehow forced families and individuals to come closer, but I feel that the pandemic just gave us a reason to pause and reflect. We'd all been so worried and in such a rush to get the best of our lives that we missed savoring the most beautiful moments. The pandemic, let us stop for a moment and breathe, it let us contemplate, realize and understand all those pieces that we had missed in these hasty lives of ours. I'd once read "Sometimes, reaching out and taking someone's hand is the beginning of a journey. At other times, it is allowing another to take yours." This pandemic made us reach out and hold one's hand as well as let our hands to be held.
About 3 years ago, right after my high school graduation, I was lost. Not in the woods, not in the mall, but even worse, I was lost in life. Although I was enthusiastic to lead a successful life with a bright future; as a fresh graduate with diverse interests, I had no idea what to major in. There was a constant battle between my artistic side, dragging me towards journalism and my scientific side, dragging me towards mathematics. For the record, I even applied to a business school and changed major twice before taking that step back. When the university registrar asked me what I was going to major in, my response was;” Well, I'm good at math; I'm passionate about journalism; and I want to become a businesswoman”. He said, “Choose one ”. I always felt like I should invent a new major that would fit my diverse Gemini personality. But little did I know that what had to be invented was not a major but a future. And long story short, I didn't know how to predict my future. The only thing that helped me back then was the quote that kept echoing in my ears, “The best way to predict your future is to invent it”. From my personal experience, I've learnt that inventing your future means accepting failure, accepting diversity and becoming your own role model. To begin with, ever since from first grade, we have been taught by our English teachers that the antonym of success is failure. But the truth is that success is independent from the amount of failure. For instance, Abraham Lincoln, the prominent 16th president of the US, has actually failed more times than we can count, whether it's losing in business, enduring a mental breakdown, losing both nomination and denomination … But didn't he become successful at the end of the day? Of course, he did! What was pushing me away from majoring in Math was the fear of failure, but the truth is that failure doesn't matter if “one falls seven times but stands up eight”. Even JK Rowling, the first billionaire writer, the author of Harry Potter once highlighted the importance of failure in her life, she said, “Failure in life is inevitable, you can't live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not live at all, in which case, you fail by default” Secondly, there is no single rule in life which states that we should merely have one passion and devote our entire life to it. Just because I'm majoring in math, doesn't mean that I should become a mathematician. We all know Mr. Bean, right? But little do we know that behind this clumsy comedian, there is actually a genius who has a Master's degree in engineering from Oxford University. And is he an engineer now? Absolutely not! So change of direction in life is inexorable. After all, it's the different spices that make delicious. Finally, in order to succeed we all need motivation from our role models. It may be Angelina Julie for an inspiration-seeker actress or Gibran Khalil Gibran for an amateur Lebanese writer. But that doesn't mean that we should imitate their footsteps, but create our own. We should become our own idols. When I was going to major in math, everyone kept telling me the world doesn't need that since there are already plenty of math teachers. But as Dr.Howard Thurman once said: “We shouldn't ask for what the world needs. We should do whatever makes us feel alive. Since the only thing that the world needs is people who have come out alive”. So ‘Inventing your future' for me means accepting both failure and diversity and drawing your own adventure story, using your own set of colorful crayons. Let it be full of roller coasters. Let it be full of ups and downs, even a change of direction is fine. But don't forget to be authentic and creative. Let's take that brush, and draw our sparkling futures. Shall we?
2020. I feel like that's all I have to say now. "Hey man, how are you?" "Oh well, you know. 2020. Am I right?" Then just laugh it off like it's no big deal. But it is. This is the year we needed. To open our eyes and face reality and just punch a hole in it. This is not a year of light or happiness. This year is a bottomless pit that we keep falling into. Month after month there's always some obstacle preventing us from finding peace. Yet, you still sit here and do nothing. I know how you feel: hopeless. Tired. You alone can't do anything for anyone and you're stuck as you see media feeding us lies and you just want to believe in them so badly, that the Government really is trying to help us by giving us money. So we don't cause an uproar from quarantine and covid. Big corporations feeding us entertainment so they can live big while we think we're the lucky ones. What about those that are unlucky? The people forced, stuck, in an industry that allows harrassment behind the scenes and corruption as we sleep. You think you can't change that? What about women's suffrage? 1852. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 1950's. Malcolm X, 1965. Brenda Howard, 1970. These people represented us valiantly and justly, they had courage and they were hungry for change. Where's your hunger? You have to crave for a better world, not just lie in the comforts of your own home. We can unite as one, because past the skin and past the cognitive works that make you, you, all I see is a human. A human who has the same core beliefs as I do: justice, equality, and peace. What we are living through is anything but. And it all starts with you. Living and breathing for a better world, because we can do it just like the people before us who left their beautiful legacies for our protection. We need to do right by all the people before us, and for those are crying out for help, by standing up and saying "I want change." Start a movement. Be apart of one. We have a voice and together we can move mountains? You want to be heard? Then talk until your throat runs dry. You want change? Stand up until your feet bleed. Stand against those who try to control you, look them in their eyes, and say: "I want change." Because it starts with you.
What would you do if you had a near-death experience? Or if you have had more than one? Would you look at life differently? Would you think about what you've done in your life? Would wonder what would have happened if you had died? Would you ask your self why? Why did God decide it was not your time to go? Why he gave you more time? Or would you simply keep going with your life? Would you ignore what happened and keep walking? Many people think about what will happen after they died. Whether people will miss them. They wonder what would happen with all their things or would all their work in life been worth it. But also many people don't really think about it. They just do their life without worrying. Others think was I kept alive for a reason? What am I meant to do? I was born with a chronic kidney disease called Alport Syndrome. It affects my kidneys, vision, and hearing among other things. I get sick really easily. When I do get sick I can be fine in the morning and be in the hospital by the evening. Getting sick for me is bad news my I get dehydrated really easily and when my fever spikes it's not so easy to get it down. There have been times in which I get extremely sick and then the next morning I'm fine. Most of these times have been because there have been three different churches praying for me. But I don't really ever realize how sick I was until my mom tells me that my blood pressure was so low or high that I could have died. That's when I start to wonder most of the questions in the paragraph above. Before I continue I'll give you some backstory. Ever since a child, I have loved reading and getting into hundred of worlds apart from my own. I would imagen myself in those stories and how I would act. Then I started to see movies coming out based on my favorite stories and there were actors that would actually be put into the worlds created by the books. Not only that, then I started seeing actors getting famous enough to start helping the world and raising money for charities. That's when I started thinking, I have been in a near-death experience so many times, that there must be a reason God has been keeping me alive. I have always been very compassionate, I want to help everyone that needs help. What if maybe, just maybe, the reason I'm still alive is to make a difference. So one day after a lot of thinking I made up my mind, I would do everything in my power to be an actor. That way I can do both things I have always dreamed of, making a huge difference for the better in the world and being an actor. God has a reason for everyone alive, there is always something you can do to help people. I still don't know his reason for sure, but I know there is one. In the meantime, I dream big. I give out bags of food to the homeless and just thinking that maybe that food gave them hope, makes it worth it. When people tell you little things matter they weren't bluffing. Don't let a near-death experience be what tells you what you do matters.
It would be a huge lie to say that there is a person on Earth whose life was not affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences. To greater or lesser extent everyone's lives were divided into “before” and “after”. Of course, each of us will draw own lessons and own conclusions. But, since there is already enough sad and devastating things happened on Earth these days, I would like to concentrate on more positive things in my story. I would like to start with the fact that before the global lockdown my life could not be called any unusual or extraordinary. Like many of my peers, I went to university, worked out in the gym – you can me “generic” if you want. For me being at home is one of the best ways to spend time. I see nothing wrong with staying at home instead of going to the cinema and reading a book or watching the same movie while lying on the couch. So, I can't say that after the announcement of restrictions on attending events and everything else, my life rotated 180 degrees. “Loneliness” in this case gives you a lot of time and space to think, and sometimes you find your train of thoughts in the most unexpected place. And I found mine here, reflecting on what's changed in my life during the lockdown. Being all by myself allowed me to learn and rethink some things in my life. Here are some of them: 1. Cooking. Frankly, kitchen was the last place where I expected to find myself. But as it turned out, I'm not completely hopeless at cooking, and sometimes it's even very exciting to cook, especially if you set some goal, like, to treat yourself or your close ones. It can be anything, really. For me, it was about switching to more healthy food and simple recipes. 2. Languages. The pandemic allowed me to register for the Finnish language course, which I had wanted to study for a long time. The course, by the way, turned out to be very informative and contains many additional resources to continue learning the language. So, I hope to stick to my routine of learning Finnish as long as I can understand a word 😊 3. New training routines. Working out is what keeps me sane during my whole life. Therefore, when trainings at the stadium were canceled, I had to look for a replacement in order to keep my body ready for future competitions. As a result, I concentrated on basic exercises and techniques, and also included exercises to strengthen my weaknesses, for example, footwork, which is essential in order to increase your strength, and maximize your performance. Now I understand more about how my body should work during the run. 4. Planning. Of course, when you build huge plans in your head about how to spend the time during the pandemic as productively as possible, there will always be a confusion about their implementation of you lack time-management skills. Planning comes to the rescue here. As it turned out, all these nice little books can really help in the proper preparation of your schedule, and not just collect dust on your desk. 5. Last but not least is my realization that the thought expressed on paper sometimes helps to clear and reload my head. Therefore, for me, writing this post is a kind of catharsis, through the text I can see a retrospective and, having put on it the existing knowledge, draw the right conclusions in order to make my life better. I am in no way saying that this is the only true way, no. But it really worked for me. Keeping journals or diaries is like a therapy session in my case. If you are afraid to share your thoughts with someone else or can't talk about such things without being accused of whining, I suppose, this'll work for you, too. So, what I want to say is that, in the end of the day, I would like to see the people in the world being happy rather than depressed all the time. Therefore, it is so important and necessary to look for positive aspects in any situation, because in the end you are the sum of choices made in your whole life. And it is very short to spend it on doubts, suffering and distress over the fact that you did not try something or did not learn. Therefore, it is not so important that my experience cannot be fully applied to others, because this is a normal process, since we are all unique. The most important thing is to think about whether you are really happy with how your life goes. Because now is the high time to do it.