I spent a part of Memorial Day Weekend at a local book and writing festival, Read On, Write On, VashOn. It was a great weekend, hosted largely by author Will North, who had invited me to participate in the opening night festivities, which included top-notch music by a local trio, sketches, and actors portraying literary luminaries like Louisa May Alcott and Mark Twain. In between the theatrics, Will North, Terry Hershey (the evening’s host), and I provided some inspiration. Will discussed where a writer’s magic really came from, Terry Hershey – a bestselling inspirational writer and seasoned public speaker – talked about the redemptive power of the word, and I delivered what amounted to an extended blog entitled, You Are The Author of Your Own Life.
There is little that makes me happier than to know something I have said or done has inspired even one person to do just one thing or think one thought. It always seems worth the effort. Yet it’s an odd calling in a way, and I didn’t quite understand why until this weekend. I have to admit this latent desire expressed itself early in my life with a lot of grousing. People were frustrating. But as is often the case, my frustration was only an unrealized desire given voice. That is, I would listen to people’s fear and think that there was something I must do, but I didn’t yet know how to do it, and so I would blame the rest of the world for my confusion.
What I needed to do was build a bridge. This is all anyone can ever do for anyone else. I think that for years I looked upon many people as broken, and that somehow I needed to fix them. You can never be of use to anyone if you think there is something wrong with them. This is why we are all bridge builders for one another. To inspire is to guide someone back to themselves. Everyone becomes lost form time to time within the nightmare of fear. You can never take someone by the hand and lead them out of this dream, but you can, often with your words, offer them a bridge to the other shore. If it seems well built, if it is friendly, then we may choose to cross it, uncertain of where we are going until we arrive and see that we have only been taught to believe something we have always known.